Israel Post (illustrative)
Israel Post (illustrative)Yonatan Sindel, Flash 90

The Supreme Court has ordered the Customs Authority to inspect packages sent via Israel Post, the same way they are inspected when sent through other postal companies, Israel Hayom reported.

The change will take effect on February 15, and will affect all packages over $75 USD.

The ruling, handed down Tuesday, follows a suit filed in October by two organizations, the Association of Corporations of Customs Agents and International Forwarders, and the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce, regarding inappropriate preferential treatment of Israel Post.

According to the suit, the Customs Authority, with the State's blessing, exempts Israel Post from all the demands placed on importers, including from import tax and demands concerning the objects' safety.

Both the Customs Authority and Israel Post have promised to end the preferential treatment by February 15, 2020, in exchange for the suit being repealed.

Uriel Lynn, president of the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce, told Israel Hayom: "The Supreme Court acted in accordance with the crucial and basic norm of equality in the way the State handles businesses. We very much hope that this principle of equality, in its broader and relevant sense, will be applied in the future in any case in which the business sector has competitive conditions."

Amir Shani, Chairman of the Association of Corporations of Customs Agents and International Forwarders and Vice President of the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce, who was present at the hearing, said he has no doubt that the Customs Authority will implement the ruling and remove the preferential treatment of Israel Post, enforcing the import laws equally on all those importing in the State of Israel.

The site also quoted the Customs Authority response: "In the framework of the State's response to the appeal, it was claimed that the claimants' claims were mistaken and the processes which the Customs Authority takes in order to maximize enforcement with regards to goods imported by the postal company were detailed. Among other things, the Customs Authority explained that goods imported by Israel Post are also examined by customs. In light of the State's response, the Supreme Court suggested that the claimants rescind their appeal."