Written by 3:37 am Economy

Tariff hike by Mauritania spells losses for Moroccan products

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Mauritania’s decision to raise tariffs on Moroccan goods has dealt a significant blow to exporters, with daily losses reaching up to 166,000 euros (approximately five million euros monthly), L’Economiste reported.

This measure, implemented at the start of January and set to extend until April, sees transit costs for Moroccan fruits and vegetables surged by 150%, aimed at promoting domestic production.

The repercussions of this tariff adjustment amount to a staggering 1.8 million dirhams daily , effectively slashing the passage of vegetables and citrus fruits through the borders by over fifty percent, down from 900 tons daily. 

Industry experts attribute the spike in customs tariffs to a retaliatory response against Morocco’s Ministry of Agriculture’s 2023 decision to halt vegetable exports. 

This suspension targeted onions, potatoes, and tomatoes bound for the West African market, aiming to stabilize local prices amid supply shortages and price spikes.

Adding fuel to the fire, Morocco’s decision to raise customs duties on Mauritanian watermelons has exacerbated tensions.

The imposition of a charge of 4 MAD/kg on imports of watermelons from Mauritania, have caused the latter to double its customs tariffs on imports from Morocco.

The ripple effect of the tariff increase extends beyond the Morocco-Mauritania borders, impacting the supply chain to other African nations. 

Mauritania has the pivotal role of bring the sole land entry point to several African countries, transforming it into a crucial distribution hub. 

Consequently, the revised tariffs affect all goods traversing through Mauritania, amplifying the economic strain on regional trade.

Moroccan producers and exporters have threatened to collectively relocate their activities to Mauritania, which previously offeredthem this option, in case no compromise is reached between the Moroccan and Mauritanian governments.

The Moroccan Association of Exporters of Various Products to Africa and Abroad said that Mauritanian importers had previously contacted them.

Mauritanian importers suggested to Moroccan producers and exporters to come to Mauritania to produce locally what they were producing in Morocco after the Moroccan government refused to back down from its decision to ban exports to Africa.

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