Egypt Scraps Sugar Import Tariff Measure After Industry Probe

Egypt scrapped import tariffs on raw and white sugar, applied last year as a measure to protect its domestic industry, after finding lower capacity utilization and profitability weren’t caused by increased imports.

The country dropped a duty of 17 percent on imports of raw sugar, based on cost, insurance and freight and with a minimum of 591 Egyptian pounds ($84.62) per metric ton, and a 20 percent duty on white sugar, with a minimum of 713 pounds per ton, an online filing to the World Trade Organization showed.

Egypt is Africa’s third-largest sugar importer, behind Algeria and Nigeria, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data. The country introduced the import duties in December, after a preliminary investigation indicated a rise in imports was hurting domestic sugar producers, and scrapped them again after a probe that ended Aug. 20.

“The injury suffered by the domestic industry is not due to the increased imports, but due to other causes,” Egypt wrote in a filing dated Aug. 30 and published on the WTO’s website yesterday, without providing details.