World Economy

Qatar Bans Goods From S. Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Egypt

Qatar Bans Goods From S. Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, EgyptQatar Bans Goods From S. Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Egypt

Qatar is stripping shop shelves of goods that come from rival nations embroiled in the nearly year-long diplomatic spat with Doha. Items imported from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt are now off-limits.

The economy ministry on Saturday ordered Qatari shops to remove goods imported from the four countries at once. Inspectors will be visiting shops to ensure compliance, RT reported.

“Products originating from blockading states, which as a result of the blockade cannot pass the Qatar customs territory, have to undergo proper import inspections and customs procedures,” Qatar’s Government Communications Office said in a statement.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt have imposed trade embargoes on Qatar as part of the diplomatic row that has been at a slow boil for almost a year, since early June 2015. Then, Saudi Arabia accused Qatar of “supporting terrorism” and allying itself with Iran. Diplomatic relations have since been cut.

“To protect the safety of consumers in the state of Qatar and to combat improper trafficking of goods, the government issued a directive to find new suppliers of the variety of goods impacted,” Reuters said.

The national Al Watan newspaper quoted a circular from the Qatar Ministry of Economy and Commerce telling traders and shops to stop dealing in products imported from the four countries. It said inspectors would monitor compliance with the policy.

Imports into Qatar plunged about 40% from a year earlier in the initial weeks of the boycott, but they have since mostly returned to normal as Doha has found new sources of products in countries such as Turkey, and developed new shipping routes through places such as Oman. Qatar has also launched a drive to produce more things locally, including food.


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