Log duty changed

By MALUM NALU

THE O’Neill-Government has responded to concerns by the logging industry by replacing the progressive log export duty rate with a fixed duty rate of 32.5 per cent, and exempting plantation logs from log export duty.

The changes were made in the Customs Tariff (Amendment) Bill 2017, which was passed by Parliament on Friday after a brief introduction by Treasurer Patrick Pruaitch.

Pruaitch said the bill “proposed an amendment to replace the progressive export duty rate with a fixed duty rate of 32.5 per cent and also exempt plantation logs from export duty”.

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ACCORDING to explanatory notes, “The 2017 Budget introduced a progressive export duty rates system on the old-growth logs to replace the fixed rate of 28.5 per cent.

“However, concerns were raised that the 2017 Budget passed progressive export duty regime for unprocessed logs was too high, and would potentially affect sustainability in the logging industry.

“In response to these concerns, the bill proposes to replace the progressive export duty rate with a fixed duty rate of 32.5 per cent and exempt plantation logs from export duty.”

The bill also contained an amendment to update Customs’ harmonised system (HS) 2017 to be on par with the rest of the world.

Pruaitch said this measure would improve PNG Customs’ administration.

Explanatory notes said: “Harmonised system is a multi-purpose international product developed by the World Customs Organisation”.

“It contains classification of tariff items, tariff codes and description of all goods that are imported and exported.

PNG Customs’ HS was last updated in 2012, hence, needs to be updated to HS 2017.

“The HS 2017 contains 233 sets of amendments to tariff item codes and descriptions.

“The amendments include merge or deletion of tariff items to reflect changes in the volume of international trade. Some tariff items were expanded to accurately capture, especially fish and forestry products for food security reasons, while new tariff items were added to reflect products resulting from advances in technology such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs).”

 

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