Prime Minister Najib Mikati revealed that once the Council of Ministers convenes, it will decide on increasing the customs dollar since the state needs revenues to pay its dues.
Mikati’s statement came during the dialogue meeting held at the Economic and Social Council.
Mikati has earlier promised to reconsider the public sector wages and raise the transportation allowance, and these two entitlements require the state to search for new revenues to be able to pay its employees.
Adnan Rammal, a member of the Economic and Social Council, confirmed that the information is circulating that the price of the customs dollar will be between 10,000 LBP and 12,000 LBP.
In regards to the expected repercussions of this decision, Rammal told Al-Jumhouriya that “raising the customs dollar will inevitably lead to a decrease in imports.”
He noted that the purchasing power, which is still present at 20-25% of the population, will be reduced to 10%, as a result of the customs dollar increase.
“If the customs dollar is raised to 12,000 LBP, the price of goods will multiply 8 times,” he said.
Rammal explained that the price of customs duties varies according to the country of origin.
For example, goods coming from the Arab countries are not subject to customs duties, in compliance with the Arab Facilitation Agreement, as well as those from the European Union, that have a European certificate of origin.
The United States, China, and Turkey are the largest exporters to Lebanon. Therefore, all the imports of these countries will increase their prices significantly, and they are mostly luxuries such as clothes, accessories, shoes, and electronics.