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Uzbekistan Increased Import Duties on a Number of Food Products

Wednesday 8 May 2013

TASHKENT (noviyvek.uz) – On May 1, Uzbekistan, increased the import duties on a number of food products, applying the decision made by the President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov on Friday.

The new taxes are obviously an attempt to encourage Uzbeks to buy national. According to official figures from the State Statistics Committee, food imports increased by about 19.5% to $1.2 bln last year, while food exports fell by 55.9% to $884 mln.

Most notably, duties on beer products are increased to from 70% to 100%.

Duties on canned meat increased from 50% to 70% of the customs value, canned fruits, from 30% to 50%, pasta from 20% to 30%, flavours and sauces from 50% to 70%.

In addition, the excise tax will be imposed on imports of fresh vegetables – potatoes at the rate of 10%, onion and garlic 30%, pea 10%.

According to the presidential decree, the specific rate of import duties on cigarettes, of tobacco or of tobacco substitutes, increased to no less than $5 per 1000 units against the pre-existing limits in the amount of $3. The duty on imported cigarettes jumped from about $18 to $40 per 1,000 smokes.

Food already makes up a substantial chunk of the average Uzbek household’s income. According to Eurasia.net, the Korzinka.uz chain of supermarkets prices domestic beef at about $8.50/kg and domestically produced sausages at between $6.20 and $8.60/kg (at the black-market exchange rate). The average monthly salary is believed to be about $200.

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