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PM orders finance ministry to impose tougher controls

A new order issued by the Prime Minister has instructed the Ministry of Finance to stop the illegal importation of vehicles and other items specifically banned by the government, such as luxury products.
The order has been issued to help resolve the problem of inflation and was signed by Dr Sonexay Siphandone and handed to the ministry on August 29.

The Lao-Thai border crossing in Vientiane is the source of a large amount of revenue collected on imported and exported goods.

All imported goods must enter Laos at border crossings that are equipped with scanners and modern tracking systems so they can be inspected to ensure they comply with the law and that the appropriate customs duty is paid.
The ministry was ordered to ensure that all goods and cash carried through border crossings are carefully monitored, and that passenger identification machines are used, to better regulate cross-border trade.
To ensure that the correct import duty is charged, importers should not be relied upon to state the value of goods being imported, but must provide a document from the factory or vendor stating the value of the item/s in question. Customs officials will be on the lookout for anyone trying to evade the payment of customs duty.
The ministry was also ordered to ensure that full taxes are paid on goods traded online. Goods ordered from other countries must be inspected at checkpoints or warehouses when they are brought in by transport companies to ensure that all taxes are paid.
Modern systems must be employed to collect taxes, including value added tax (VAT), which has been raised from 7 to 10 percent. Consumption tax, profit tax, and income tax owed on goods and services used by foreign companies for electricity and mining projects must also be paid in full.
The finance ministry was also instructed to look at ways to incentivise businesses to pay VAT and to improve the management of the import and export of various products by enforcing the law, especially in relation to VAT, so that businesses are more closely controlled. In addition, a consumption tax on imported luxury goods that can have a negative impact on health and society should be applied as soon as possible, as well as measures to stop all forms of illegal importation.
Greater use of the kip should be encouraged for the payment of goods and services in Laos, and the ministry should closely monitor the operations of illicit foreign currency businesses. Tighter controls are needed to regulate the state budget with regard to foreign currency and the Ministry of Finance must ensure that all foreign currency passes through the Bank of the Lao PDR.
The ministry was also instructed to monitor the importation of registered capital, other capital and the foreign currency earned by private domestic and foreign companies carrying out development projects, to ensure their operations comply with the project contract and the foreign exchange management law.
Departments that issue licences for the import and export of goods must require businesses to show a document certifying payment for these goods through the Bank of the Lao PDR, as one of the conditions to be fulfilled before a licence can be issued.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update September 1, 2023)

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