Business owners praise the decision to ban the import of plastic bags in Oman

omani shop at supermarket - plastic bags - afp photo
omani shop at supermarket - plastic bags - afp photo

Muscat: Oman has announced that it will ban the import of Plastic bags which will come into effective from January 1, 2023

The Ministerial Decision No.519/2022 states that companies, institutions and individuals are prohibited from importing plastic bags from January 1, 2023.

Breeching the ban will be punishable a fine of OMR 1,000. The amount may be doubled for a repeat violations.

A number of factory owners specializing in the manufacture of plastic bags in the Sultanate of Oman confirmed that Ministerial Resolution No. (519 / 2022) issued by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion, which bans the import of plastic bags starting from January 2023, will contribute to raising the production of local factories by limiting from unfair competition with imported products, noting that the decision will help local factories increase their production capacity and cover the local market, diversify the sources of production lines to increase demand, raise Omanisation rates in factories, in addition to directing local factories to environment-friendly industries in the future.

Dr. Saif bin Nasser Al-Zahimi, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afnan International Trading Company, considers that the decision constitutes a qualitative addition to the local factories and will make a big difference and a qualitative leap in the renaissance of the local industry, adding: “We hope that the factories will invest this decision to benefit in terms of increasing production capacity and marketing locally and externally. Diversifying the sources of production lines and reducing prices as a result of increased demand in large quantities.”

He stresses the need for local factories, during the coming period, to prepare a deliberate plan to increase the demand for plastic bags and meet the needs of the local market, and to improve products in terms of determining the current monthly production capacity and developing a plan to increase it in line with the demand for it by increasing equipment and machinery, in addition to preparing an Omanization plan that is compatible with the expected production volume after the ban.

He indicates that the factory is currently seeking to double production due to obtaining foreign export contracts in light of expectations of increased demand from the local market, explaining that the factory’s current annual production capacity is 1,680 tons, and it will be raised until 3840 tons annually, stressing that the factory is currently testing additives that help in the rapid decomposition of the bags to be environmentally friendly, and is seeking to obtain an approved certificate for it.

Faryal Bint Daoud Al Lawati, Managing Director of the Oman Plastic Industries Company, says that the ministerial decision is a supportive decision for the local manufacturing sector, because it will contribute to the recovery of the local plastics industry, which applies the required environmental standards and limits competition for imported products, pointing out that the decision will contribute to strengthening The added local value will be more and will revive Omani factories, increase the percentage of employment of national competencies instead of expatriate workers, and cover the large demand that will be produced after the implementation of this decision.

He adds, that Omani factories use Omani-made raw materials in the manufacture of plastic bags, and after the application of the decision, the demand for these raw materials will increase, which will enhance the production capacity of the primary raw materials factories, calling on local factories during the next stage to prove their efficiency more than the previous and increase their production capacity to cover the continuous demand for plastic bags and covering the requirements of the local market, and thinking about exporting after that, and cooperating to provide the market with high-quality products that represent local manufacturing and maintain the specifications and standards set by the concerned authorities, and not to underestimate them in order to contribute to reducing waste harmful to the environment and preserving the environment from pollution And preparing plans to move from the current plastic industries to the manufacture of environmentally friendly products in the future.

He indicates that the Omani factories are able to meet the needs of the local market of bags, and are able to expand significantly and export to neighboring countries, adding that the factories have great potential to move to the manufacture of alternative environmentally friendly bags, and many Some of the companies that started manufacturing environmentally friendly bags some time ago, and got contracts from local and foreign parties.

Tomaj Rahim Nashat, an investor in Al Sariyah Factory for Services and Comprehensive Business, believes that the decision will contribute to raising the profits of local factories and compensating for what they lost during the past two years as a result of the Corona pandemic, in addition to compensating for the high costs of production and imported raw materials, calling for the issuance of similar decisions in various sectors to support the Omani product. In light of the ability of Omani factories to provide high quality products.

Local factories will benefit greatly from this decision, but the most important thing is that they will be able to increase their production and own a stable market with fair competition, as well as maintain their quality in accordance with Omani standards, and the concerned authorities will be able to control the quality and standard of products, explaining that The production of Al Sariyah Factory for Comprehensive Services and Works is currently about 1,200 tons annually, which represents 20% of reused bags and 80% of table covers and garbage bags, and the factory seeks to double production next year, he added

He also calls on local factories to focus on producing good quality products, respecting the rules and standards issued by the concerned authorities, and not spoiling the market by producing illegal products and selling them under other names or imported products, and they must maintain fair competition, indicating that the factory is currently working on Gathering and studying information to transform products into environmentally friendly.

Dr. Salem bin Amer bin Khamis Al-Sinani, CEO of the Future Factory for Packaging and Industry, believes that the decision to ban the import of plastic bags from outside the Sultanate of Oman comes as a culmination of the efforts of the Ministry of Trade and Industry and Investment Promotion and the Environment Agency, to reduce the environmental risks and problems that have negatively affected and growing in recent times. Environmental life, and it is a prelude to ban the manufacture of these materials locally in the next few years.

He explains that the decision comes in the interest of local factories to increase their production, raise their profits from sales and give them enough time to adjust their production lines to environmentally friendly bags production lines, pointing out that the decision to ban the production of plastic bags requires a period of time, and that the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment Promotion and the concerned authorities have developed a plan that takes time. Some years to ban the production of plastic bags, which has given enough space and time for national factories to adjust their conditions.

The CEO of the Future Factory for Packaging and Industry, the Future Factory for Packaging and Industry, said: “The production of environmentally friendly paper bags has actually started, with a production capacity of more than 2 million bags per month. plastic bags to 6 million bags per month.

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