A new customhouse tariff on imports and exports has been approved by the Angolan cabinet council. The tariff urges for the adoption of active policies that generate incentives and productive and remunerated jobs, that is, policies that encourage local production, according to a press note from the cabinet meeting.

The note also states that the draft proposed took into account that the import duties are aggregated to the sale cost of the goods in the country of destination, thereby reducing the competitiveness of exports.

The document provides also for the elimination of the 35% import duty tax, with a view to a principle of softening and a major equilibrium in the application of taxes, stimulating voluntary payment and making illicit practices costly, which will lead to a easier living for the populations.

The new tariff is characterised by a general softening trend as in a total of 98 chapters the taxes decreased by 38%, maintained by 42 and rose by 18.

Equipment, spare parts and raw material were the items on which the softening trend focused most, the note states, adding that their taxes range from 2-5%, depending chiefly on how much incentive to the local production is sought.

Also as a measure to encourage local production, taxes on such essential goods as cooking oil, textiles and cements.

Taxes have risen on such goods as beef, pork, frozen poultry, and milk by products, vegetable, soaps, books, works in plaster, stone, cement and the like and used cars, depending on how old they are.

On the other hand, Angolan finance minister, Pedro de Morais, reminded journalists that the last revision to the customhouse tariff was in 1999, at a time the reduction of the great dispersion of taxes was already being sought.

Today, he added, “this revision is seen from a very different perspective, as there are better conditions for the relaunch of the productive activity”.

He explained that the government wants the populations to get imported goods at lower rates.

To Pedro de Morais this is to provide citizens better living standards.

On the other hand, the cabinet council approved the draft law regulating the activity in the oil sector, aimed at revoking the former one that was in force since 1978, and harmonise the legal documents and contract on the operations and a major control and intervention of the state on the sector.

With this initiative, the government wants to discipline in a very detailed way the granting of licence for prospecting and concessions, putting a stress on public tenders and establishing a series of oil operations.