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Main | Import | 6/26/2015

The Importer's Practical Guide

The process of importing to Israel includes a series of measures, which you, as an importer, should be familiar with before executing an import transaction.

Dear Importer,

The process of importing to Israel includes a series of measures, which you, as an importer, should be familiar with before executing an import transaction. 
This practical guide is designed to provide you with the necessary information on these procedures. 
We hope that this information will be a useful tool for you from the moment that you decide to import until the release of the goods at the port or bonded warehouse. 
The following information is designed to assist the public at large by providing general, introductory and unbinding information only, and does not add, detract or modify the provisions of any law or procedure


Have you decided to import? Before doing so, here are some points that you should consider:  

  • Is there a market for the product in Israel?
  • Is there the marketing infrastructure to launch the product?
  • Is servicing required?
  • Is there competitive local production, and in what volume?
  • Is there competitive import, and in what volume?
  • What are the import tax rates?
  • Are there other protections or surcharges?
  • Non-tariff import requirements (such as licensing, special certificate, compliance with standards, obligation to mark goods, etc.).
  • Is the price attractive after all the taxes and other expenses involved?
  • Where is it most worthwhile to import from (the European Union, the U.S., the Far East, etc.)?
  • Are any restrictions imposed on the country from which you wish to import?  


Numerous agencies and entities are involved in the importation process. Make sure in advance if you need them and what is the nature of the services they offer.

List of the main factors involved in the importation process:

  • Overseas suppliers
  • Banks
  • Government ministries (Industry & Trade, Agriculture, Health, Transportation, etc.)
  • Customs and VAT
  • Shipping companies and airlines
  • Insurance companies
  • Customhouse brokers and international forwarding companies
  • Overland carriers
  • Standards Institution of Israel or other testing laboratories
  • Rabbinate (kosher certificates)
  • Ports Authority
  • Maman (cargo handling company)
  • Service bureaus for issuing import declarations of the Chambers of Commerce.             


Detailed information on potential suppliers of the product you wish to import is available at the computerized information centers in the libraries of the Chambers of Commerce in Israel and abroad. 
Main sources of information:

  • The Information Center of the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce
  • Commercial attaches in Israeli embassies abroad
  • Commercial and economic attaches of foreign embassies in Israel
  • Libraries (market surveys, foreign embassies in Israel)
  • Marketing companies overseas
  • Trade shows and fairs
  • Financial press
  • Professional literature                    

INFORMATION ON THE COUNTRY OF ORIGINOnce the potential country of origin and potential supplier have been chosen, you must become acquainted with certain aspects of that market:

  • Laws and regulations applicable to the import of goods from the country of origin
  • Business practices in the country of origin
  • Become acquainted with the cost accounting model of the supplier and differences in currencies
  • Custom duties and taxes levied on the import of goods from the country of origin
  •  Trade agreements between Israel and the country of origin – if any
  • Certificates of origin and other necessary certificates required from that country 

An importer must take into account possible risks that involve import transactions:

  • Trade risks – The goods might not be delivered by the supplier, and sometimes when supplied, they might be of poor quality and fail to meet agreed requirements.
  • Political risks - Changes may be implemented in laws and regulations pertaining to the country of origin, including changes in tax rates or administrative restrictions (licensing, etc). 
  • Currency risks - Fluctuations in exchange rates may upset pricing and reduce the profitability of the import. 
More info on this subject

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