The ‘New’ VAT on Importation of Goods

A development in the value-added tax (VAT) sphere of Laos has caused quite a stir on social media recently, following the issuance of a Decision by the Ministry of Finance and its subsequent reporting in the media. Given the ‘hoo-hah’ surrounding the development, we thought we’d weigh in with some commentary on it.

More than a thousand furniture plants ordered to shut down

The government has ordered some 1,154 family-unit furniture plants across the country to shut down their illegal operations, a government spokesman announced yesterday. Additionally, more than 20 wood processing plants located in or near conservation and protected forests areas were also ordered to close down. The order was approved at the meeting between Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith and his deputies that took place on August 29 when the Task Force Committee reported its findings in relation to the illegal operations.

VAT to be levied at border crossings, effective immediately

All people who enter Laos bringing with them goods valued at over US$50 will have to pay 10 percent of the goods value to the government as VAT, with the decision already in force. This is in line with an order by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Mr Somdy Duangdy, dated 30 August 2016.