Prices on a wide range of goods imported to Israel are set to be slashed, after Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz on Wednesday signed an order cutting import duties and purchase taxes on electrical appliances, entertainment systems, and food imports. The cuts begin going into effect on October 1, and Finance Ministry officials said they hoped that the tax cuts will significantly lower the cost of living for Israelis.
Import duties on a wide range of electrical appliances and consumer items, including washing machines, vacuum cleaners, microwaves, fans, toasters, coffee makers, irons, lightbulbs, glasses, and many more, have been cut to between 8% and 12% of the value of the item.
On some items, import duties have been canceled altogether, the Ministry said. In addition, a 15% purchase tax on entertainment items, such as TV sets, home movie systems, DVD players, computer screens, and other items will be eliminated altogether. A Ministry spokesperson said that the duty cuts would cost the state treasury NIS 440 million ($130 million).
Duties on many imported food items are set to be slashed as well. For example, duty on imported fresh meat products will be cut from the current level of 190% to 90% over the coming four years. Duties on imported spices, nuts, and dried fruits will drop from around 16% of the value of the item to between 4% and 8%. And imported ice cream duty will fall from its current 13% rate to 4% within four years.