Government Introduces Customs, Tax, Fee E-Payments

Source: Vientiane Times

The Lao government is upgrading payment methods for customs, tax, and other fees at the international customs checkpoint nationwide.

The Ministry of Finance together with Banque Pour Le Commerce Exterieur Lao Public (BCEL) has researched and developed the payment via a banking system called “Smart Tax” by using a card to pay for customs, tax, and other fees instead of paying by cash.

Currently, the Smart Tax system is being used in eight international customs checkpoints, according to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.

In previous years, the international customs checkpoint nationwide collected customs, tax, and other fees by cash. To reduce risk in keeping the cash and removing the cash from each customs checkpoint to the National Treasury, the government has decided to reform payment method to Smart Tax in each international customs checkpoint nationwide.

The system is also to guarantee revenue collection to the government budget as well as to provide more to customs informers (individual, people or organisations) by using the system.

The Ministry of Finance issued the decision on customs, tax, and other fees payment by Smart Tax at the international customs checkpoint nationwide in November, 2014.

After that, the ministry, especially the Customs Department, issued a suggestion report about payment by this system.

But as they were limited on equipment and management regulation, the ministry could not action the method.

Until February this year, the ministry announced the implementation of the system in eight target international customs checkpoints of Nam Heuang, Phoudou and Nam Ngeun in Xayaboury province, Nam Kan in Xieng Khuang province, Phou Keua in Attapeu province, Pakxan and Nam Phao in Borikhamxay province.

These target international customs checkpoints have begun testing implementation the system in March and planned to expand installation the system in international customs checkpoint around the country by following on the potential and actual conditions.

Before using the payment for customs, tax, and other fees, customers should have a card with the state commercial banks of Laos to register.

In this case, customs informs those who have deposited money in the state commercial banks have then been able transfer to the Smart Tax card from their account. Those who have not deposited can direct to each state commercial banks’ service unit to bring the cash and cheque transfer entry the own card.

After customs officers have followed the regulation, they can pay customs, tax, and other fees via the Smart Tax card, where the value of payment will show on at the desktop of the card machine.

For entrepreneurs and business operators hoping to import and export goods through eight target international customs checkpoints should use the card. They can ask for more information and details about the payment method with the provincial finance departments and the Department of Customs.

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