An export tax of 10 per cent will be imposed on jewellery with a gold purity of more than 80 per cent, according to a circular issued by the Ministry of Finance on Tuesday.
HA NOI —
Currently, the 10 per cent rate applies only to gold jewellery with a purity of more than 99 per cent. The ministry said it based its decision on a proposal from the State Bank of Viet Nam and other relevant bodies, seeking to minimise the export of unprocessed gold.
The State Bank also expected that the hike, which goes into effect tomorrow, will help prevent gold traders using loop-holes to avoid taxation. Some gold traders reprocess the purity of their gold jewellery to evade payment, it said.
Huynh Trung Khanh, advisor to the World Gold Council in Viet Nam, praised the tax, saying it was a necessary measure to encourage the export of jewellery.
As of now, gold traders mainly import gold bullion and then export it again when the world price rises above the domestic price.
Khanh said that the export of unprocessed gold therefore did not benefit the economy but only speculators, since it generated no jobs.
Besides the tax, the finance ministry is also asking customs authorities to perform more stringent checks on the origins and purity of jewellery exports to minimise fraud.
According to statistics from the General Department of Customs, the country exported around 24 tonnes of gold, mainly jewellery, in the first six months of this year. Total export turnover of precious stones and metals during the period reached US$1.2 billion, up 133 per cent from the same period last year. Traders in the domestic market pushed up the gold price to an all-time high of nearly VND41.4 million (US$2,008) a tael (1.2 ounces) yesterday though the world price traded at $1,664.75 an ounce on the London Bullion Market. — VNS