Import taxes

In the field of import taxes (customs duties, purchase tax and excise tax) and international trade processes, the firm assists its clients, in the civil and criminal sectors, with tax rates, refunds, exemptions and returns; the firm grants its clients counseling and assistance in all matters concerned with the import of goods, including personal import.

The firm counsels oil companies and entities entitled to exemptions or refunds, in matters of excise duty, and, also, assistance in implementing the provisions of the Oil Law and the Diesel Arrangement. The firm deals in and provides continuous service in the following matters:

Assistance with customs in import and export processes.

Representation and legal counseling in instances of goods being apprehended and confiscated.

Representation and legal counseling in appeal processes of customs payments and submitting claims to the various courts.

Representation and legal counseling in determining tax rates, including determining the value of the goods for tax purposes.

Customs duties are an indirect tax imposed on the import of goods to the State of Israel, whether personal import or commercial import. There are different provisions for the personal import of goods that arrive together with a passenger on his return to Israel; those provisions differentiate between those entering Israel on land, and those entering by air or sea. In each of the instances, a different exemption is given, but in all cases, it is obligatory to declare deviations from the exemptions (green / red channel).

Offenses under the Customs Ordinance

Offenses under the customs ordinance that were committed without any intention to evade payment of the tax is a criminal offense, and the punishment might be imprisonment of up to six months or a fine. For committing an offense with the intention of evading the payment of tax, the punishment might be an extended prison sentence, while under the Prohibition of Money Laundering Law, the punishment might reach ten years’ imprisonment.

Further to the provisions on the import of goods, there are provisions that concern the export or import of money from and to Israel through the various border crossings. These provisions determine an obligation to report the export or import of sums of money greater than the sum for which no report is necessary. Currently, the following sums of cash and checks may be exported and imported, without any need to report: through an air or sea border crossing, up to NIS 50,000; at a land crossing (except for the Allenby bridge crossing) up to NIS 12,000, and through the Allenby bridge crossing, up to 2,000 Jordanian dinars(approximately NIS 10,000).

Failure to report the export or import of money from or to Israel is likely to result in civil, administrative or criminal punishment.

Professional legal counseling in the early stages of a process might inevitably turn into a game-changer, whether by terminating the process without a criminal indictment, by means of an administrative process and imposing a financial sanction, without a criminal record or imprisonment, or, alternatively, reducing the counts on which the indictment was served.