TIRANA, November 24
The removal in the import duties on raw materials used by the Albanian footwear and manufacturing industry was included in the new fiscal package for 2017, which was recently adopted by the government. Hence, all import duties have been reduced to zero.
This measure was taken based on a request made by the National Chamber of Footwear and Manufacturing in July. According to them, the sector was facing serious difficulties related to production and raw materials’ costs.
“The products that we produce get a preferential origin, and because of this fact, we need raw materials conforming to EU CEFTA, which have a major cost. Therefore, the final price is less competitive,” it was explained in the letter.
Moreover, it was also added that if the Albanian footwear and manufacturing sector expands in markets such as Pakistan, Latin America, Egypt or Russia, export duties create a burden for the overall cost and reduce the competitiveness of Albanian products.
These were the reasons why this sector asked for a revision of customs duties on raw materials given that only this sector needs them. On the other hand, they do not have an impact on the state budget. Based on the annual data for 2015, the effect on the state budget is going to be Lek 41 billion.
The footwear and manufacturing sector evolved significantly during the last years and currently, products labelled ‘Made in Albania’ are produced for different countries including the US and Japan.
Thanks to the continuous investments in this sector, footwear and garment companies in Albania have contracts with global brands. The elimination of customs duties will allow this sector to enter highly preferred markets such as Russia or Latin America countries.
News Source: Monitor
Photo Credit: Dyrrah RN