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Smuggling agricultural goods to face harsher punishment.

Summary: Parliament's Agriculture and Tourism Ministry Tuesday approved amendments to the Customs Law that will make punishments for smuggling agricultural goods harsher, the state-run National News Agency reported.

BEIRUT: Parliament's Agriculture and Tourism Ministry Tuesday approved amendments to the Customs Law that will make punishments for smuggling agricultural goods harsher, the state-run National News Agency reported. The law was put forward by Zahle MP George Okais in November in an attempt to protect farmers and otherwise strengthen the agriculture sector in Zahle and the Bekaa Valley.

Speaking after a session Tuesday, committee chair Ayoub Humayed said the draft law, which aimed to support "farmers, GDP, the Lebanese economy and national income," had been "approved by a majority," according to the NNA.

The current Customs Law sets out monetary penalties for smuggling that are in addition to the value of any confiscated smuggled goods. If the value of the goods cannot be determined, a penalty of LL1 million ($663) to LL10 million is assessed.

The new law would increase the financial penalties, though Humayed did not specify to what degree. The law now needs to go through a number of other parliamentary committees, before going before Parliament's general assembly.

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Publication:The Daily Star (Beirut, Lebanon)
Date:Apr 10, 2019
Words:214
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