The EU calls on the trade minister to suspend the application of new import restrictions

The EU calls on the trade minister to suspend the application of new import restrictions

In a letter to Trade Minister Fadhila Rabhi, the European Commission (EC) expressed concern over the announced import restrictions, which came into effect on 17 October.

In this letter, the European Commission said it was aware of the economic difficulties Tunisia is going through and stressed the need to avoid ” any measure that may restrict trade in pursuit of economic objectives “.

The EU stressed that the technical import control system is complex and not very transparent, which does not seem to be based on a risk analysis and constitutes a significant barrier to access, adding that the introduction of a pre-import control will only improve the situation. worse.

The EU also notes with regret that, at present, Tunisia has neither notified the WTO about the transparency of its customs measures nor the contact points for customs cooperation under the Trade Facilitation Agreement. This does not help the good management of trade with the EU and other WTO members or the integration of Tunisia in value chains. says EC.

Finally, the Commission called on the Minister to discuss these issues as soon as possible and called on her to suspend the application of the announced measures.

The Ministry of Trade and Export Development, the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy and the Ministry of Health issued a joint communique to announce that it has been decided to introduce a system of prior inspection to guarantee the quality of imported products, but also the safety of consumers, at the same time in that they impose imports of the products in question directly from the producing factories in the exporting country. The provisions of this press release entered into force on October 17, 2022.

Requests for the domicile of foreign trade documents for the import of the products covered by the press release require the presentation of an invoice stamped by the competent services of the public structures, each according to their area of ​​competence:

  • Ministry of Trade and Export Development
  • Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy
  • The Food and Drug Administration

To obtain the permit in question, the importer must submit an import file to the competent structure with the following documents:

  • An invoice issued by the exporting factory
  • A certificate issued by an official party in the exporting country regarding the legal status of the factory and its authorization to operate
  • Presentation of evidence that the manufacturer has implemented a quality control system.
  • A statement of the categories of products to be imported
  • The product’s trademark and the trademark manufactured under license from the owner.
  • A model for approval of products to be imported
  • A certificate of free sale issued by a governmental party in the exporting country
  • Documents and reports proving the quality of imported products in accordance with customary standards

The same press release emphasizes that the competent authorities can demand any additional document that makes it possible to verify the quality of the imported products. The competent structures also have the option of calling the importer to obtain samples of the product to be imported.

The following are exempt from the provisions of this press release:

  • Imports from the state, institutions, public institutions and public and local authorities.
  • Import of raw materials and semi-finished products for the industrial sector and related services as well as the craft sector.
  • Import of raw materials and semi-finished products as well as spare parts.
  • Import of equipment for renewable energy production projects.
  • Import without payment or without currency transfer.
  • Imports benefiting from duty exemption, such as embassies and similar bodies.
  • Imports exempt from foreign trade measures pursuant to executive order 1743 of 29 August 1994
  • Postal parcels


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