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Iraq removes Nineveh-Duhok customs point, orders removal in Kirkuk

By Rudaw 4/12/2018
The customs office was closed at Fayida checkpoint on December 4, 2018. It links the Kurdistan Region’s Duhok province to Nineveh province. Photo: Rudaw TV
The customs office was closed at Fayida checkpoint on December 4, 2018. It links the Kurdistan Region’s Duhok province to Nineveh province. Photo: Rudaw TV
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — The Iraqi government removed the Fayida customs point between Nineveh and Duhok province on Tuesday following a parliamentary decision that considered the customs points illegal.

“Today, Tuesday, the Iraqi government implemented the decision to remove the customs point between Mosul and Duhok,” said Barakat Shamo, the head of the Brotherhood and Co-Existence bloc in the Nineveh Provincial Council.

A decision was made by the Iraqi parliament which voted that the customs points were illegal, thus ordering their removal.

The customs had created a “huge problem” for the residents of Mosul and Duhok, claimed Shamo.

The “Fayida Square” where fees had been collected will become a square where trade and exchange between the two provinces can now openly place, added Shamo.

 

Later in the day, trailers and trucks could be seen waiting in a kilometers-long line near the newly removed Nineveh-Duhok customs point because they are not yet allowed to pass. 

The Ministry of Finance has authority over collecting and implementing customs points. The post was vacant in the previous government.

The customs checkpoint, alongside two others established between Sulaimani and Kirkuk and Kirkuk and Erbil by former Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi, who also assumed the duties of the vacant finance ministry were a heavy burden on traders. Many considered the decision illegal arguing customs points within one country should not exist.

Fuad Hussein of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) is the new finance minister in Baghdad. 

The other two customs points around Kirkuk are also awaiting removal.

The employees at the customs point between Erbil and Kirkuk also were notified to remove it on Tuesday.

However, it is continuing to tax people. The Federal Police, which are under the command of the interior minister, say without an official governmental letter they won't remove the customs point in Kirkuk.


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