The Israeli Customs Authority has accepted, in principle, a request put forward by Mr. Amir Shani, Chairman of IFFCCA ( The Federation of Israeli International Freight Forwarders and Customs Clearing Agents) to allow duty free access to European and American made goods.
One of the conditions set up by the Free Trade Area Agreement with the U.S.A and the association agreement with the EU, goods of either origin are entitled to claim duty free status treatment if goods are shipped directly from the place of origin to the place of consumption.
During recent industrial action taken by local longshoremen most shipping companies could not discharge cargo at any Israeli ports and were forced to discharge containers in nearby ports. These ports were declared by the shipping companies as "termination of voyage ports".
Since cargo routings have been changed resulted in shipments arriving indirectly, several customs officers demanded payment of the full duty disregarding the extra expenses as well as the hardship associated with the strike.
The Customs Authority acted swiftly and advised all customs officers to disregard the change of route and allow U.S.A & European goods to be given duty free status upon entry.