New Amendment to the Import and Export Ordinance
23 January 2024
Dear clients and colleagues,
On January 17, 2024, an amendment to the Import and Export Ordinance [New Version], 5739-1979 (the “Ordinance“), was published in the official records (the “Amendment“). The Amendment incorporates various changes and reliefs, with the majority coming into effect on July 1, 2024 (which may be deferred by up to three months) (the “Commencement Date“), while some changes came into effect upon publication of the Amendment. This Amendment supplements the import reform that came into effect in the middle of 2022 (to read our update regarding the reform >> click here)
Please see below an overview of the key changes set out in the Amendment:
The changes that came into effect on January 17, 2024
- Extension for presenting a file product – The time granted to the importer to present a product file was doubled to 144 hours, following receipt of the requirement issued by the Commissioner of Standardization as part of a product file sample.
- Relief in the importer’s declaration – The importer may declare that compliance with certain standardization requirements will be implemented prior to the marketing of the goods following their importation, in accordance with the terms and conditions stipulated by the Commissioner of Standardization in his guidelines.
- Reliefs in the Cassis route submissions – It has been determined that in the Cassis route, submissions may include test certificates from a laboratory that is not certified by the ILAC member body, if accompanied by an approval from an applicable conformity assessment body (NB, CB). Further, documents verifying conformity with foreign regulation may also be submitted, in addition to the option to submit test certificates. The Amendment further provides a ‘softening’ of, the importer’s commitment statement, whereby the importer may declare that the goods in the shipment are of the same type as those referenced in the test certificate, and not necessarily identical to those in the test certificate.
The changes that will come into effect on July 1, 2024 (which, as noted, may be deferred by up to three months)
- Abolishment of the Importers’ Registry – the requirement to register with the Importers’ Registry will be abolished, and the Commissioner of Standardization will receive the relevant information or documents directly from the customs authority.
- Abolishment of the requirement to submit an application to a testing laboratory for customs clearance in declaration-based routes – For import groups 2, 3, and the Cassis route, the requirement to submit an application to a testing laboratory in order to obtain approval from the Commissioner of Standardization for the release of a shipment from customs, has been abolished. When this change comes into effect, the importer may submit the required declaration directly to the customs authority. The importer will be required to retain the declaration in the product file. The supervision of the Commissioner of Standardization will be performed by sampling deliveries and ensuring compliance with the product file requirements or the applicable standard requirements. It is important to note that while this change will give rise to reduce costs and shorten processing timeframes, it is procedural in nature, and does alter the underlying importer requirements.
- Expansion of powers with respect to importers who act in breach of trust – The powers of the Commissioner of Standardization to determine that an importer has acted in breach of trust, has been expanded to cases where the importer refuses to cooperate in exercising the powers granted to the Commissioner of Standardization by the Ordinance. Further, the Commissioner of Standardization may determine that a family relative of the importer, and/or an officer of a corporation, a controlling person in the corporation or a corporation under their control or under the corporation’s control, are also deemed to have acted in breach of trust, subject to the necessary adjustments. We note that prior to the Amendment, these powers could be applied with respect to the Importers’ Registry (which, as noted above, will be abolished).
- Extension for submitting an undertaking in connection with the sampling of goods –With respect to the sampling of goods, the timeframe in which the importer is required to submit the undertaking to carry out the sampling with either the customs authority or at the importer’s warehouses (as the importer may elect), has been extended to 144 hours.
- New testing laboratory requirements – Testing laboratories will be required to provide importers with all information related to goods for which a model approval has been granted, to allow importers to transfer the information to another testing laboratory for the purpose of obtaining shipment approvals (relevant to import group 1). Additionally, testing laboratories will be required the guidelines of the Commissioner of Standardization, to publish models of goods for which they have granted model approvals, so that other importers may conduct comparative tests. Additionally, the Commissioner of Standardization will determine the maximum timeframes for testing laboratories to conduct tests for shipment approval and will set instructions regarding the publication of data and information relating to such testing.
- Temporary exemption for importers of products in import group 3 – A temporary order for a period of one year from the Commencement Date (which may be extended for additional periods of up to one year in aggregate), will apply, which grants an exemption to importers of products in import group 3 from the requirement to retain in a product file, the certificate of conformity of the model to the official standard applicable to it, and the accompanying detailed test report, test certificate or its alternatives. We note that this exemption is limited to the obligation to keep the aforementioned documents in the product file only.
- Financial sanctions – A new basis for a reduction was added for an importer who takes preliminary actions to prevent an importation violation, through a laboratory or an engineer, that are not required by the Ordinance. Additionally, the amount of the financial sanction for failing to maintain a product file was increased from NIS 16,130 to NIS 26,880, reinforcing the importance of maintaining a product file. In this context, we wish to emphasize the need to prepare an internal enforcement procedure that will assist in complying with the relevant legal requirements. We are of course more than happy to assist you in preparing this procedure.
- Publication of inspection and enforcement data – The Commissioner of Standardization will publish once a year, on July 1 or shortly thereafter, data regarding inspection and enforcement actions carried out in the past year according to the provisions of the Ordinance and according to the provisions of the Standards Law, 5773-1953, without identifying the personal details of the import violators.
To read the publication of the Amendment in the official records >> click here
We will be happy to assist you with any questions or clarifications regarding this matter.
Herzog Fox and Neeman