Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon signed a directive that will permit importing 60,000 tons of vegetables without paying customs fees.
The directive appears to have been cleared by the Ministry of Agriculture with the understanding that the move is aimed at avoiding the sharp increase in the price of fresh produce.
The shortage of fresh agricultural produce resulting from extreme weather conditions has had a negative impact on domestic crops, and the ministerial directive is aimed at preventing prices from soaring in the wake of burgeoning demand during holidays. Under the directive, potatoes, onions, carrots, horse radish, cabbage, lettuce, cucumbers, celery, tomatoes, parsley, and peppers can be imported all year without paying customs duties.
Imports under this quota will be allowed according to the crop conditions and consumption in the domestic market during the year. During the holiday periods - Passover and New Year (from March 22 until May 5, and from September 2 until November 2), imports of specific crops will be permitted (lettuce, cucumbers, celery, tomatoes, parsley, and peppers) under the quota regardless of the supply in the domestic market.