Lapid Lowers Import Duty on Grapes

November 26, 2014  

Although they are considered a summer fruit, grapes are likely to show up on Israeli store shelves this winter – and are likely to cost less than they have in the past. The new batch of cheaper grapes comes courtesy of Finance Minister Yair Lapid, who on Wednesday signed an order slashing the import duty on grapes.

Duty on table grapes – those meant for eating – is now 45% lower than it had been. A kilogram of imported grapes will now cost one shekel wholesale, compared to the NIS 1.84 they had cost previously. The duty cut applies to all varieties of grapes from any country approved for agricultural imports all year – except for during April and May, when the old duties will be restored in order not to overly compete with Israeli grape growers, who harvest and sell most of their produce during those months.

A Finance Ministry spokesperson said that the importance of the move went beyond lowering the price of grapes; Lapid, said the spokesperson, is interested in the impact of lower import duty on agricultural products on local prices. If the lower prices have the desired effect, the move could be expanded to many other agricultural products.

The lower duties on grapes will remain in effect through at least the end of 2016, the Ministry said.

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