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Baghdad Delays New Iraqi Customs Law

As disagreements persist with Erbil, Baghdad has requested that an unimplemented customs tariff law be postponed in what some see as a bid to buy time for tensions to cool.
A customer shops for clothes at a clothing store in Baghdad's Karrada district August 14, 2012. Iraq relies on imports from neighbours like Syria, Turkey and Iran for 95 percent of its consumer goods. Syria in particular is a key supplier of manufactured goods, fresh vegetables and fruit. But as an uprising there against President Bashar al-Assad grinds through its 17th month, the supply of Syrian goods to Iraq is slowly drying up as Syrian businesses are forced to close and trucks struggle to cross borders

An Iraqi customs law, held up for almost three years, may still stall because of a dispute between Baghdad and the Kurdistan Region over the collection of customs revenue at border crossings.

The Iraqi parliamentary finance committee has announced that it added amendments to the law regulating the levying of a customs tariff on goods entering the country, enacted Feb. 2, 2010. The government had then requested to postpone its implementation in order to avoid price increases, provided that this law enters into force as of June 30, 2013.

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