UAE lifts customs duties on cement, steel
The United Arab Emirates has decided to apply a country-wide lifting of customs duties on cement and steel on Sunday, the official news agency Wam reported.
The move comes days after His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, issued a decree ordering a temporary lifting of the levies in the emirate to control rising costs for building materials.
"Sheikh Mohammed ... issued a cabinet decree to widen the exemption of cement and steel from any customs duties in all parts of the state," Wam said.
The decision is aimed at "stabilising the real estate market and the construction boom, and to reduce the burdens of contractors."
It did not say if exemption was also temporary.
UAE suppliers of ready-mix concrete are struggling to keep up with demand with the risk that construction projects may be delayed further, Emirates Business reported on March 5, citing cement companies and contractors.
In the first week of March, cement prices surged 25 per cent as higher oil prices made fuel needed to make the product more expensive.
Dubai is a one of seven emirates that make up the UAE, which has agreed with its Gulf Arab partners to create a customs union, fixing duties at a minimum five per cent.
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