- Advertising Agencies
- Architects

- Banks

- Car Dealers
- Car Rental
- Casinos
- Commerce
- Consulting
- Cosmetology
- Craft

- Data Processing &
Computer Systems
- Decoration &

- Editing
- Elementary Schools
- Engineering &
- Environment / Waste
Management Services
- Express Delivery

- Fashion
- Financial Services
- Food & Beverage
- Furnished Apartments

- Health / Beauty
- Higher & Vocational
- Home Appliances
- Hotels 3
- Hotels 4(A)
- Hotels 4(B)
- Hotels 5
- Hotel & Restaurant

- Industry
- Insurance
- Interior Design /
- Internet

- Jewelleries

- Lighting
- Luxury

- Media
- Music

- Office Equipment /
- Oriental Carpets
- Outside Decoration

- Printing
- Promotional Materials

- Real Estate
- Recruitment
- Restaurants

- Sanitary Wares
- Security
- Services
- Sweets

- Taxi
- Telecommunication &
Mobile Phones
- Transport
- Travel Agencies
- Technical Studies

- Watches
- Water Treatment



Back to archives Back to news
French Version

U.S. warns tax exemption on Lebanese exports may end (Daily Star)

America insists beirut implement copyright laws
Feltman says threat has nothing to do with Security Council Resolution 1559

The United States warned on Friday that Lebanon may no longer enjoy tax exemption benefits on exported Lebanese-made products to the U.S. if the government failed to enforce intellectual property laws soon.

"The International Intellectual Property Alliance has given the Lebanese government until the month of November to improve the copy rights violations. Failing to accomplish this task will compel the U.S. government to lift the customs exemptions on Lebanese made goods," U.S. Ambassador Jeffrey Feltman told reporters in Beirut Friday.

He added that the government here had been aware of the deadline since May of this year.

"I am not sure if the U.S. will agree to give Lebanon more time to implement the copy rights law," he added.

The U.S. has been pressing the Lebanese government to crack down on the rampant copyright violations over the past few years.

The ambassador denied that the lifting of tax exemption benefits was part of the U.S. pressure on Lebanon to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1559, which calls on Syria to pull its forces from the country and for the disarming of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias.

"This (decision) has nothing to do with Resolution 1559. We have been urging the government to do something about copyright violations but to no avail," Feltman said.

However, he did concede that some improvements in the crack down on copyright violations had occurred.

"Despite some improvements in the enforcement of copyrights violations, the U.S. feels that copyrights violations remains strong," Feltman said.

The failure of the government to stamp out copyrights violations may decrease the chances of Lebanon joining the World Trade Organization in 2005.

Lebanon, according to all IT organizations, ranks among the 10 worst countries globally in protecting intellectual property rights.

A few months ago, the Economy and Trade Ministry and the Interior Ministry raided numerous shops that sold pirated DVDs, computer software and games. The raids were largely ineffectual though as the authorities did not prevent most traders from producing or importing pirated software.

Experts estimate that intellectual property violations are costing companies more than $50 million in revenues a year.

The Economy and Trade Minister plans a massive media awareness campaign in November to inform people on the negative impacts of copyrights violations.

The ambassador said cable piracy is one of the more serious issues that the government has to deal with.

According to the U.S. Embassy, approximately 1,000 illegal cable operators are pirating all satellite and terrestrial television stations in Lebanon.

"Nine out of 10 households in Lebanon are subscribing to illegal cable. I am surprised that the government is still not doing anything about it," Feltman said.

He added that the Lebanese market was flooded with smuggled, counterfeit or alleged generic products that do not have proper validation.

The Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) was developed by the U.S. government to allow some countries to export goods to the United States without paying any customs.

To be eligible for GSP, a country is required to provide an accounting of the extent to which a country provides adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights.

According to a U.S. Embassy statement, "Lebanon benefits greatly from the GSP program. In 2003, $30.8 million worth of Lebanese goods were imported duty free into the US. This represent more than half of the total Lebanese imports to the U.S."

Beirut 01-11-2004
Osama Habib
The Daily Star

Business News
Business Forum
Business Opportunities
Fairs & Exhibitions
Useful Addresses
Currency Exchange Rates
Some Marks
To see in Lebanon
Media of 1stlebanon
Impact of 1stlebanon
Add your company
Press Book
Flowers delivery Lebanon
Flowers delivery Dubai
Oriental food specialty
Lebanese wine
Real estate agency Beirut
Hotel Hamra-Beirut
Car rental
Rent a car lebanon
Reservation for your travel in Lebanon
Association des français de l'étranger
-section Liban
Diamond jewelry Lebanon
Jewelry manufacturer Lebanon
Jewelry watches-Swiss made watches
Diamond Swiss watches
Modern and comtemporary jewelry
Byzantine & Phoenician jewelry
Jewelry creation
Oriental, classical and traditional decoration
Hand made furniture
Construction management Lebanon
Projects development
Shoes manufacturer and distributor Lebanon
Sole agent of Philips & Whirlpool in Lebanon
Web development
Web marketing
Printing press services
Paper products
Insurance company Lebanon
Insurance Lebanon
Rent villas France
Hotels all over Syria
Hotel management company
University Lebanon
Arab Media News