Israel on Monday cancelled tariffs on the imports of certain dairy products to reduce consumer prices, the state's finance and agriculture ministries said in a joint statement, Trend reports citing Xinhua.
Israeli Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman has signed an ordinance abolishing tariffs on yogurts, low-fat cheeses and pudding products, as well as increasing tariffs-free import quotas of hard cheeses.
The decision opens the market for the free dairy import from European countries, where the average consumer price of yogurt is about 8.5 shekels (2.69 U.S. dollars) per kilogram, compared to 17 shekels in Israel, the statement said.
The increase in import quotas for hard cheeses is expected to reduce their average consumer price by 10 shekels per kilogram, according to the ministries.
They noted that this plan implements the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) recommendation for Israel and is another step in placing the state alongside developed countries in terms of support for agriculture.
"Dairy products in Israel are 79 percent more expensive than the OECD average, and opening the dairy market to competition is a first step in a basket of solutions to address the high cost of living," Lieberman said.
"Free competition achieves three goals, which are low consumer prices, larger choice of products and market improvement," added Israeli Agriculture Minister Oded Forer.