On Thursday Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman, in coordination with Agriculture Minister Oded Forer, signed an order permanently abolishing customs duties on butter products in order to prevent shortages and continue to reduce the cost of living.
The order includes a full and permanent abolition of customs duties on butter products for consumers, and a temporary exemption for butter for industry until the end of 2022.
This comes after there were temporary suspensions on such duties in recent months. The current government has made it a priority to reduce import tariffs on agricultural goods in order to ease the problems with the high price of food in Israel as compared to western countries.
There was also a shortage of butter in Israel in 2020 that spurred the temporary order suspending the tariffs.
Customs abolition stopped the shortage and increased butter consumption in Israel by about 50%. In addition, the abolition of customs duties increased the range of butter products on store shelves by 30%, and reduced the price level by about 13%.
Lieberman said, “Today we see that the abolition of customs has significantly benefited the consumer through increasing consumption, increasing the variety of products and lowering the price, all without harming local agriculture. We currently stipulate that customs will be abolished on a regular basis so that the public can continue to enjoy a variety of available butter products at a low price. We intend to continue to work, in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture, to reduce tariffs on agricultural products in order to reduce the cost of living for the benefit of the Israeli consumer.