Merlog Foods calls for removal of import tax on European frozen potatoes

food, merlog foods calls for removal of import tax on european frozen potatoes


JOHANNESBURG – Merlog Foods has called on the government to remove the anti-dumping duties imposed on frozen potatoes coming in from European countries.

The tariff was implemented by the International Trade Administration Commission in July and is expected to be in place until January next year.

The frozen food distributor said this will lead to an increase in prices and may deprive underprivileged consumers of frozen potatoes.

Frozen potatoes imported from Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands are charged an import tax, despite potatoes being one of the products that are tax-free in the country.

Merlog Foods’ general manager George Southey said the recent tariff imposition was unfortunate: “We also have a situation with load shedding where factories that make the potato slap chips and fries are dependent on the electricity.”

He said the price of frozen French fries has almost doubled in the past year: “From R16 to R30 at the wholesale level, which is an 88% increase.”

Although the country produces enough potatoes, Southey said most of the harvest was not good enough for French fries.

The company said as long as the import tax on frozen potatoes persists, there’s a high risk of a potato shortage in South Africa.


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