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Laos Raises Excise Tax to Limit Outflow of Foreign Currency

Source: Vietnam Plus

Lao President Thongloun Sisoulith has issued a decree that imposes higher excise tax on certain goods, aimed at curbing the import of luxury items in a bid to reduce the outflow of foreign currency.

Specifically, Presidential Decree No. 003, issued on October 9, raises the excise tax on jeeps and sedans that use fuel, alcoholic beverages, tobacco, soft drinks and slot machines, gaming machines, and all types of gambling equipment that have a valid license.

The new excise rates for fuel-powered jeeps and sedans have been set according to engine size, as follows: 31% for vehicles with an engine capacity of up to 1,000cc; 41% for a capacity of 1,001-1,600cc; 56% for 1,601-2,000cc; 66% for 2,001-2,500cc; 82% for 2,501-3,000cc; 127% for 3,001-4,000cc; 200% for 4,001-5,000cc; and 220% for more than 5,000cc.

The previous rates were 25%, 30%, 35%, 40%, 45%, 70%, 85% and 90%, respectively.

Alcoholic beverages (except beer) with an alcohol content higher than 23% will have the excise tax increased from 70% to 110%. Drinks with an alcohol content of 10-23% will have the tax increased from 60% to 90%, and beverages that contain less than 10% alcohol will have an added excise tax of 72%.

The excise tax rate for beer with an alcohol content of more than 5% will now be 70%, while beer with an alcohol content of 0.5- 5% will incur a tax of 60%.

The tax on cigarettes has increased from 50% to 72%, and on other tobacco products from 35% to 47%. Processed beverages such as soft drinks and soda will see the tax increased from 5% to 12% while the tax on energy drinks will increase from 10% to 17%.

The decree also imposed a higher excise tax on slot machines, all types of gaming machines, and all types of authorized gambling equipment, raising it from 35% to 50%.