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Lebanese appeal to Syria to reduce transit fares


An Nahar daily wrote that hopes Lebanese farmers and exporters built on the reopening of the Nassib Crossing to restore the flow of Lebanese goods through the Jordanian border into Arab Gulf markets were dashed due to the Syrian decision on September 10 to raise the transit fees. (c.f: The newspaper cited the head of the Syndicate of Owners of Trucks in Lebanon, Shafiq Lakikis, as saying that the number of trucks passing via the crossing is small as a result of the Syrian measure, negatively affecting export activity. Kassis revealed to An Nahar that, in light of the current stagnation in the industrial, agricultural and productive sectors, and the huge losses incurred on the land transport sector over the past years due to the closure of the borders, the Lebanese side may settle on a 2% - 4% or even 5% increase but not on 10% as is the case today. Lakkis called for reciprocity in accordance with the Arab Facilitation Agreement and other treaties signed between Lebanon, Syrian and Jordan, pointing out that Syrian trucks transport their goods via Lebanese territory into Syria without charge. Concerned transport and export circles, Lakkis said, demanded charges be levied on Syrian trucks correspondingly. Citing informed sources, An Nahar wrote that Syrian enforced tariffs on some refrigerated trailers carrying vegetables have reached nearly USD 1200. Similarly, Jordan imposed USD 140 per ton on trucks, An Nahar said, noting that Lebanon’s Ambassador to the Hashemite Kingdom, Tracey Shamoun, has intervened but did not succeed in reducing the transit fees to this effect. (An Nahar, November 10, 2018)

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