Consumers will begin to pay lower prices on imported products beginning in January and, by June, they will see price drops of as much as 45%.
The government imposed tariff surcharges on most imported items in March to offset the effects of a strengthening dollar. The extra tax was approved in September by the World Trade Organization (WTO), although the WTO said it would review the case in February 2016.
The government argued that Ecuadorian manufacturers needed protection against cheaper foreign imports. The currencies of most of the country’s trade partners have devalued dramatically against the dollar over the past year.
In addition to the tariff surcharges, the government has imposed special restrictions on cross-border purchases from Colombia and Peru.
Most of the 1,392 products affected by the surcharges are taxed at 45%. Those will see a reduction of the surcharge to 40% in January, 26.7% in April and 13.3% in May. The surcharge will be dropped entirely in June.
Imports affected include wine, food, clothing, electronics, machinery, cosmetics and cars, among others.