“No stopping at the port” reform: a revolution in importing to Israel

Photo: Haifa, Wikipedia
This reform marks the opening of Israel to a sophisticated and more competitive import market, with significant consequences for the Israeli economy and consumers. It is expected to lead to a fundamental change in the way imports to Israel are conducted, with broad effects on the prices, variety and availability of products in the local market.

Starting today (Monday), Israel opens a new page in the field of imports with the launch of the “No Stopping at the Port” reform. This reform, which is the first part of a broader movement known as “what is good for Europe is good for Israel”, is expected to revolutionize the import processes to Israel and have a significant impact on the variety of products and prices for the consumer.

The main points of the reform and the expected effects:

The reform eliminates the need to present declarations, certificates and tests in laboratories for most products imported to Israel that are subject to official standardization. Instead, importers will only be required to declare that the products meet the official standardization requirements, similar to the practice in European countries. This change is expected to lead to a significant reduction in import costs and increased competition by expanding the range of products available to Israeli consumers.
The Minister of Economy and Industry, Nir Barkat, describes the move as “a historic day in our fight against monopolies and cartels”, and adds: “Now not a single container will be delayed at the ports and the goods will go straight to the shelves without unnecessary bureaucracy and without the Standards Institute – and above all without unnecessary costs that are passed on to the consumer. Starting now Containers with goods from Europe will not be held up in Israel’s ports and the monopolies’ control of the entry route for goods to Israel will cease. There is no reason for Israeli citizens to pay more than European citizens for the same products. What is good for Europe is good for Israel.”

The reform is expected to lead to a significant reduction in import costs. Until now, the additional costs associated with inspections, storage and delays could reach, according to various estimates, about 9% of the import value of various products. Eliminating these costs is expected to lead to lower prices for the consumer. In addition, the removal of bureaucratic barriers will allow new players to enter the import industry, which will increase competition and lead to further price reductions and an improvement in the quality and variety of products offered to consumers.

Products included in the reform:

The reform will apply to a wide variety of products, including bottles and tableware for babies, toys for children over the age of 3, pressure cookers, gloves, lamps, air conditioners, dishwashers, diapers, tampons, refrigerators, ovens, toasters, televisions, computer equipment, bicycles, furniture For babies and children and thousands of other products. However, products with a high risk to public safety or the environment, such as medical equipment and dressing products, baby products, lifting equipment including elevators, pressure equipment, construction products, detection and firefighting equipment, and more, will continue to undergo strict inspections. Despite the significant reliefs, the Ministry of Economy and Industry emphasizes its commitment to maintaining consumer safety. To this end, significant personnel will be added to the administration of standards in the office. This personnel will work within the framework of a risk management system to carry out continuous control of the shipments.

Looking ahead:

The “no stopping at the port” reform is just the beginning of a broader move. The second part of the reform “what is good for Europe is good for Israel” is expected to be completed in the current session of the Knesset, within a few weeks.

According to Minister Barkat: “The first part of the reform known as ‘no stopping at the port’, is a revolution in the method of importing products to Israel, saving bureaucracy, bureaucracy and unnecessary barriers that are very costly to the public. The celebration of the monopolies is over.”

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