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Weah Commended For Tariff Reduction Ultimatum

The National Custom Brokers Association of Liberia (NCBAL) has commended President George Manneh Weah for his recent decision on reducing tariff of basic commodities in the country.

The Liberian leader as part of efforts to reduce the economic constraints face with by citizens, last week authorized the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) to within 72 hours come up with a considerable schedule that will see the reduction in the tariff of basic commodities across the country.

According to NCBAL, the decision of the president is welcoming but has forwarded seven recommendations for further considerations by the executive mansion.

In a NCBAL released issued over the weekend, the organization among other things recommended that Administrative Regulation No.1.17-1/MFDP/FAD/RTPD/NOVEMBER 01,2017 be cancelled because it undermines the Common Extended Tariff (CET) which already placed 35% duty rates on commodities imported from outside West Africa which is intended to protect local manufacturers.

“We therefore believed that the additional surcharge be cancelled. For example, the surcharge on flour, biscuits, sugar, soap, soft drink, confectionery (candies, chewing gum, lollipops among others,” the release mentioned.

NCBAL also recommends that President Weah suspend section 1705 of the Revenue Code of 2011 in that it will change the LRA method of valuation on basic commodities.

“Whereas, Liberia as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) which mandates all member countries to used the General Agreement on Trade and Tariff (GATT), that is the Transaction Values, instead of the Old Brussels Definition of Valuation (BVD), which take into consideration of the Market Values. Liberia is the only country in our entire region that is still using such method of valuation as of 2000 A.D.  That Pre-Shipment Inspection be abolished and the use of BIVAC in performing job of customs is not necessary,” the release added.

NCBAL wants the cancellations of the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning regulations on Destination Inspection Penalties of 10% 20% & 30% as well as Cost Insurance and Freight (CIF).

 

The released furthered: “That the Old Age Penalties Regulations from the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning on Used Vehicles on other earth moving equipments ranging from 10%, 20% & 30% be removed. It is no secret that a typical Liberian cannot avoid to buy a brand new vehicle from the factory and government is not in the position to also purchase brand new vehicle for public transportation purposes.

That transshipment is re-introduced as a means of mobilizing domestic revenue. That APM Terminal free time is extended from the current 5 days to 15 days as it was with the National Port Authority. And the President shall mandate APM Terminal and shipping lines to accept the Liberian dollars currency as legal tender for the transaction of business at the Freeport of Monrovia. And that the Government of Liberia re-introduces and established a free zone and an Industrial Park to facilitate the smooth movement of commodities and improve trade.”

Signed by NCBAL Vice President, James L. Hinneh, Jr., the released had it that, when these recommendations are implemented by President Weah, it will help adequately propels his Pro-poor agenda especially in stimulating the country’s economy.

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