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Goats, fish, and vegetables face import taxes as Saudi Arabia seeks to promote domestic production

RIYADH: Import tariffs on a range of livestock, fish, and vegetables have all been increased by Saudi Arabia as the Kingdom seeks to promote domestic industries and products.

Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan has signed off the levy rise on 99 commodities, in line with World Trade Organization rules.

Among the changes are tariffs on sheep and goats rising from zero to 7 percent.

Twelve types of fish and shrimp have also seen a raise in customs duties, with a minimum of 6 percent and a maximum of 15 percent respectively.

A number of vegetables including onions, cucumbers, carrots, eggplant and zucchini, now have import tariffs of 5 percent, up from zero.

The decision came into force on June 12, according to Umm Al-Qura. 

The announcement came just days after the Saudi government revealed that a previous round of import tariff rises, in June 2020, led to an investment increase in goods production and more jobs in the Kingdom.

The rise on 575 commodities two years ago saw rates increase from zero to 25 percent on some food and beverage products.

Following the rise, investments in relevant factories in the Kingdom increased by 2 percent by the end of December 2021 — reaching SR374 billion ($99.7 billion). 

Saudi Arabia is hoping to use customs tariff increases to improve the balance of payments, increase exports, and bring the private sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product to 65 percent.

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