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Govt Eyes 14.6% Revenue Increase From Tariff-Fees In 2023

Source: Vientiane Times

The Ministry of Finance has set a target of generating 10.47 trillion kip in income from tariffs and fees for 2023, an increase of 14.6 percent compared to the figure for the current year.

The figure of 10.47 trillion kip represents more than one-fourth of the national revenue of 38.44 trillion kip planned to be accumulated in 2023.

To achieve this goal, the Ministry of Finance has pledged to modernise customs management systems at the main border checkpoints as part of efforts to plug loopholes resulting in financial leaks.

As of December 20, the income earned from tariffs and fees and other service charges was 9.27 trillion kip. The Ministry of Finance expects earnings sourced from tariffs and fees to reach 9.32 trillion kip for the whole of 2022, an increase of 39.5 percent over the figures for the previous year.

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These figures were part of a report from the Ministry of Finance’s Customs Department that was presented at a recent annual meeting in Vientiane chaired by the Minister of Finance, Mr Bounchom Ubonpaseuth.

The Customs Department highlighted the government’s efforts to tackle the evasion of tariffs and fees, and to introduce more electronic systems, including the electronic customs declaration system, known as ASYCUDA, and the Smart Tax system to minimise financial leaks.

The Lao National Single Window (LNSW) continued to digitise customs operations and simplify trade formalities by deploying its single window system at the Khammuan and Savannakhet International Checkpoints.

The LNSW provides services to promote cross-border trade and develop the government’s tax collection capacity. Importers and exporters can pay tariffs, taxes, service charges and other fees through the electronic system installed at border crossings where goods are transited.

Meanwhile, the Boten International Customs Checkpoint has employed modern systems such as ASYCUDA, Smart Tax, Scanner, EasyPASS, and the Lao National Single Window system.

As a result, the amount of revenue collected on imports and exports passing through the Boten customs checkpoint on the Laos-China border exceeded 290 billion kip in the first six months of 2022, and this was 12.83 percent more than the target figure.

The Ministry of Finance is committed to improve organisational structure and enhance professionalism at 28 international border checkpoints, 30 local border checkpoints and 27 customs checkpoints.

Laos is becoming more connected with its neighbours following the opening of the Laos-China Railway in December 2021, with trains carrying more visitors and freight between the two countries.

Sufficient facilities and quicker cross-border services will mean more income will be generated for Laos in the years to come. Mr Bounchom called on customs officials to enhance their responsibilities, ethics and professionalism to deliver cross-border services and generate more revenue for the country.