Customs checkpoints between Iraqi provinces and the Kurdistan Region scrapped

December 4, 2018 at 2:53 pm

A customs checkpoint opened on Kirkuk-Sulaimaniyah road 22-09-2018 Photo: KirkukNow

KirkukNow- Kirkuk

The Iraqi General Commission of Customs has called a halt to the work of customs checkpoints set up recently on main roads connecting the provinces of Kirkuk and Ninewa to the Kurdistan Region.

The acting governor of Kirkuk Rakan al-Jiburi on Tuesday, December 4th, revealed that the board notified the director of the Kirkuk customs checkpoints that they cancel the points set up on Kirkuk-Sulaimaniyah and Kirkuk-Erbil roads.

“We have not received the formal documents yet; the decision was delivered through a phone call”, the acting governor told (KirkukNow).

Meanwhile, Taha Khidhir, director of Faida custums checkpoint which had been placed between Ninewa and the Kurdistan Region confirmed that “A formal order to cancel the checkpoint has arrived”, noting that the new order “will be sent to all the checkpoints.”

(KirkukNow) obtained a copy of the order directed from Mahir Hamad, head of the Northern Region’s Customs Directorate to Faida checkpoint in Ninewa along with two other checkpoints between Kirkuk and each of Erbil and Sulaimaniyah.

“Based on a phone call made on December 3rd, 2018 between the head of the Northern Regions Customs and the director of the legal and customs affairs in the Iraqi customs commission, it has been decided that all your staffs should be brought back to the office of the directorate and call a halt to work at the checkpoints”, the document read.

A document issued by the Iraqi General Commission of Customs concerning the cancellation of work at customs checkpoints

In the meantime, the head of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)’s General Directorate of Customs Samal Abdul-Rahman, speaking to (KirkukNow), said, “We haven’t received the formal order but we heard about it.”

On November, 2018 the Iraqi parliament voted to cancel all decrees issued by the former cabinet during the period it assumed the role as caretaker government, including the placement of customs checkpoints between Iraqi provinces and the Kurdistan Region.

The Iraqi government on September 22 installed two customs checkpoints on the main roads connecting Kirkuk with Erbil and Sulaimaniya provinces.

The move resulted in price increase of goods imported through those provinces, sparking outrage among Kirkuk residents.

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