Iraq, August 4, 2016
AMMAN,— Iraq’s Ministry of Trade has banned the import of some food products and beverages “over health and safety concerns”, some of which were Jordanian, according to the Iraqi newspaper Mada.
The ministry identified genetic modification and the excessive use of food additives as the reasons for the ban on some products, but did not specify the reasons for the ban on the Jordanian products, according to a ministry statement carried by Mada.
Some of the banned products are popular on the Jordanian market.
Iraq’s decision to reportedly ban the import of a number of Jordanian food products is an attempt to tarnish Jordanian industries, Foodstuff Traders Association President Khalil Haj Tawfiq charged on Sunday.
Haj Tawfiq said the decision was an attempt to damage the reputation of Jordanian producers.
“We have [in Jordan] the toughest technical rules in the world,” he said, adding that the produce would be banned in Jordan if it contained any prohibited ingredients.
He suggested that the ministry imposed the ban in order to open up the Iraqi market to other countries.
According to Haj Tawfiq, the revenue from trade in Iraq has decreased by 30 per cent since the closure of Jordan’s border with the country due to security concerns.
Export revenues will fall further due to the Iraqi ban, he added.
“I am afraid the ban will extend to fruit and vegetables,” Haj Tawfiq said, noting that Jordanian exports reach Iraq via Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
Trade Ministry Spokesperson Yanal Barmawi said the ministry was in contact with Iraqi authorities and would release a statement on the matter.
Haj Tawfiq noted that the ban on Jordanian imports was not the first decision of its kind made by a neighbouring country.