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Gov’t Suspends Import Tax On Public Commercial Buses

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has extended a temporary suspension placed on import duty and goods and services tax on commercial public transport buses. The President’s decision was contained in Executive Order No. 35 signed on Tuesday, November 22, 2011.

Under the Executive Order, the import duty and goods and services tax (GST) on all buses in specific categories, which are to be used for public commercial transport purposes, are suspended.

They include passenger motor vehicles with a capacity of 10-22 seats; new passenger motor vehicles with a capacity of 23-30 seats; new passenger motor vehicles above 30 seats; and other new passenger motor vehicles with 10-22 seats. The suspension, within these categories, is restricted to other new commercial public transport buses.

According to an Executive Mansion release, the temporary suspension on import duty and goods and services tax also includes other new passenger motor vehicle with 23 – 30 seats; other new passenger motor vehicle above 30- seats and used passenger motor vehicle for the transport of 10 or more persons, restricted to used commercial public transport buses.

Under terms of the Executive Order, importers shall pay only the Customs User Fee (CUF) of 1.5% and the ECOWAS Trade Levy (ETL) of 0.5% where applicable.

Executive Order No. 35, replaces Executive Order No. 27, issued for the improvement of public transport infrastructure, which is a key priority of the Government of Liberia.  The Order has since expired.

However, the Government still desires to improve the public access to commercial bus and transport services, which will help reduce challenges imposed on commuters and also reduce the cost of goods and services.

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