The measure seeks to alleviate pressure on MREs and tourists after two months of international travel suspension and closed borders.
Rabat – The Administration of Customs and Indirect Taxes (ADII) announced on April 29 an exceptional measure allowing Moroccan diaspora (MREs) and tourists to import passenger cars registered abroad temporarily after lockdown.
The customs office will temporarily admit the regularization of vehicles after the deadlines without “contentious consequences.” The new measure exclusively concerns vehicles imported by MREs and foreign tourists during the temporary border closure imposed by the COVID-19 health crisis.
Morocco suspended all international travel, including maritime movement since mid-March to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The country then moved to impose a total lockdown on March 20. The measure is accompanied with continuous closed borders, air, land, and maritime borders. Morocco extended the lockdown for another month until May 20.
It remains to be seen whether the government will ease lockdown or extend confinement. Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani hinted recently that the country will break lockdown gradually, however.
Every summer, starting the end of June, thousands of Moroccans residing abroad come to Morocco to spend summer holiday with their relatives.
The lockdown measures and the COVID-19 crisis is expected to impact the “Marhaba” (welcome) operation that the country launches every summer to receive MREs at ports across Morocco.
In September 2019, El Othmani estimated the number of MREs who entered Morocco through its ports at 2.5 million.