Award-winning Jordanian journalist charged $200 customs fee to bring Emmy prize home

Award-winning Jordanian journalist charged $200 customs fee to bring Emmy prize home
2 min read
27 March, 2019
Jordanian journalist Amjad Tadros was hit with a $190 customs fee when he tried to bring the Emmy Award he won last year back to his home country.
Tadros won the Emmy award last year for his work in Syria [Twitter]
Custom officials told a Jordanian journalist he has to pay 135 JD ($190) in order to  bring his prestigious package - the Emmy award he received last year - back into the kingdom.

Amjad Tadros won the "News and Documentary Emmy Award" in October for his work on the CBS' "60 Minutes" documentary "The Wounds of War".

The award-winning documentary examines the lives of doctors and emergency workers in Aleppo.

Jordanian customs officials contacted the journalist to tell him he could only receive the award if he paid 100 Jordanian dinars ($141) in customs duties and 35 Jordanian dinars ($49) in clearance fees.

Exorbitant customs charges are a frequent complaint among Jordanians and others living in the country.

"This is a high-profile, slightly absurd example. But Jordanians across all walks of like say they are forced to pay very high customs fees on items not even included on the customs list ($200 for a computer chip for an engineering student's final project, $100 for henna)," tweeted long-time Jordan-based journalist Taylor Luck.

"Apparently, as explained to me, an initial customs fee is included in the total value amount that is taxed. So basically, Jordanians pay a tax on a customs fee - a tax on a tax, so to speak."

Tadros complained to local Roya News that rather than promoting its talent, Jordan was extracting from them.

"Creativity in Jordan is taxed. Who wants to become an innovator, should make it outside Jordan," Tadros told Roya News.

Tadros has previously won numerous international awards for his work as a Middle East producer at CBS covering events such as the Arab Spring and the wars in Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

The journalist also founded Syria Direct, an Amman-based non-profit media organisation, which is considered one of the best sources on Syria news.

It works with Syrian journalists on the ground to deliver "timely, credible coverage" of the country.