Lao gov't publishes new charge on transit goods

Source: Xinhua| 2020-02-28 12:29:21|Editor: zyl
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VIENTIANE, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- Lao Ministry of Finance will impose a new charge on transit goods in March as the government seeks ways to benefit from its transformation from landlocked to a land bridge.

Local daily Vientiane Times on Friday quoted Lao National Gazette website's amended Ministerial Decision on Transit Goods Charges, which will be effective from the middle of March 2020.

Under this amended decision, goods imported for export purposes will be subject to the new rates.

According to the new ministerial decision signed by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Somdy Duangdy on Jan. 10, any business that imports goods for export purposes are liable for the new fee.

The rate differs depending on the type of product and the quantity.

The transit fee charged on one liter of whiskey, wine or other alcoholic beverage is 1 U.S. dollars. Petrol, oil or lubricant for export purposes will be charged 0.25 U.S. dollars per liter and a four-wheel vehicle with an engine size larger than 3,000cc will be charged 1,500 U.S. dollars per unit.

Animals such as buffalo, cows, horses and sheep which enter Laos for export will also be subject to a transit fee. The details of these fees can be found on the government website.

Goods imported for export purposes will not be allowed to be distributed in Laos, according to the new ministerial decision.

However, the transit fee is part of the government's efforts to overcome Laos' landlocked status and turn the country into a land link, according to this government regulation.

Laos' strong economic growth and the need for expansion of the government's revenue base have also led to the amendment of the ministerial decision.

The government has invested a large amount of public money in the construction of railways, roads and bridges to connect to neighboring countries in order to transform Laos from being a landlocked country into a land bridge.

One of these mega investment projects is the China-Laos railway, which is scheduled to be completed at the end of 2021.

Lao government officials believe that Laos has huge potential to serve as a logistics hub, through which business operators can bring in goods and ship them to other countries in the region.

The Ministry of Finance has been actively creating new revenue streams by revising the tax laws and introducing new mechanisms to boost revenue collection, according to the report.