Israel’s health minister is seeking to raise the prices of herbal medicine and the sale of anti-aging products, after the government imposed a 10 percent tax on some imported products.
In a letter to Finance Minister Uri Ariel, Deputy Health Minister Yitzhak Goldschmidt said that the tax would apply to certain herbal medicines that are imported from abroad, but the tax will not apply to herbal medicine sold in Israel, including those imported from overseas.
Goldschmidt’s letter came after the Israeli government announced plans to increase the tax rate for the importation of certain herbal medicine products from $2.50 to $3.00.
The increase was announced on March 18, in response to the import of some herbs that are not authorized to be imported into Israel.
According to a March 21 report by Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, Goldschamp proposed raising the price of the herbal medicine from $3 to $5.50.
The tax on imported herbal medicines is the highest in the world, according to Israel Tax Authority statistics, and the ministry’s move is expected to hit a huge chunk of the Israeli economy.
Israel levies a 10-percent tax on certain imported products, including pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and foodstuffs, as well as products imported from other countries, such as the U.S. and the European Union.