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Study proposes stages to remove customs duties on gold works.

RIYADH: ARAB NEWSA recently released study has proposed three stages to abolish customs duties on gold works between the GCC countries in a bid to remove obstacles facing the gold and jewelry industry and protect the national products in these countries.

Gold and jewelry sector in the GCC countries is suffering from customs and administrative woes coupled with the absence of government support, which makes it difficult to face fierce competition from international gold firms, Al-Eqtisadaiah daily said quoting the study prepared by Kuwait Union of Gold (KUG).

The study, which will be explored at a GCC gold and jewelry consultative forum in Dubai today, has highlighted difficulties facing the sector, including high rates of customs duties on gold works, slow and routine handling at customs ports and delay in gold checking and attestation.

The first of the study's three-stage proposal to address the problem is concerned with the imposition of customs duties on (foreign) finished products and exemption of precious metals manufacturing machinery from customs.

It has also proposed the reduction of customs duties to two percent instead of five percent as a second stage whereas the third and final stage is related to the full exemption of GCC precious metal products from any customs duties.

The GCC's locally-produced gold is still dependent on "primitive" methods to manufacture and does not keep pace with the latest developments in other foreign countries where most of gold works are made in local workshops lacking modern machinery operated by cheap Asian labor, the study said.

The study added that the GCC's local markets are suffering from governments' delayed procedures in analyzing and attesting gold works of both local and foreign origins. Customs clearance for foreign products takes twice the time of analyzing and attesting operations, which puts pressure on traders who weigh on price changes per second according to global gold markets, the study said.

Meanwhile, gold and jewelry investors in the GCC countries will be briefed on the details of the study at their consultative forum, which is being organized by the Federation of the GCC Chambers (FGCCC) and attended by representatives of the GCC General Secretariat.

FGCCC Secretary General Abdulrahim Hasan Naqi said the meeting would focus on the activation of the public and private partnership (PPP) on preparing draft laws related to gold and jewelry industry among the GCC countries.

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Publication:Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Date:Oct 24, 2013
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