MFPTMA requests tax reduction for export of lumbers, finished products

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An official from Forestry Department (right) checks spraying the lumbers with disinfectants amid COVID-19 outbreak.  File Photo

By Nyein Nyein

Myanmar Forest Products and Timber Merchants Association (MFPTMA) requested a reduction of tax for export of lumbers and finished timber products.
MFPTMA is paying 10 per cent for special goods tax and 2 per cent for the commercial tax to the government for export of lumbers and finished timber products, said MFPTMA Secretary and Managing Director U Aye Min Kyaw of Royal River Trading Company.
“The tax is a bit high and the timber is contained in special goods tax. So, we have to pay 10 per cent for special goods tax. The remaining is fine. We also have to pay 2 per cent for commercial tax. The government suspended collecting of commercial tax because of coronavirus pandemic. So, we don’t need to pay 2 per cent recently. We wish to reduce a bit concerning 10 per cent for special goods tax,” he added.
At present, the lumber and the finished timber products are purchased mainly by Europe, USA and Asia. Although it was a bit difficult to issue the documents for buying the lumber and finished products, it is easier now to receive the documents because Myanma Timber Enterprise (MTE) issues these documents as the third party, according to MFPTMA.
“The foreign countries are interested in Myanmar’s teak. Europe said that Myanmar’s teak can be handled in saltwater. So, they are interested to purchase Myanmar’s teak. This is the reason why we are exporting Myanmar teak. However, they ask for the documents and certificates. Previously, we had difficulties providing documents and certificates. Later on, the MTE is issuing the documents that we need. We also have a third party. Third-party is also issuing the certificates,” he added.
In April 2014, Myanmar banned the export of raw timber logs. The government sold the timber logs only to the country that bids tender. The tender winning companies saw the timber in their countries and export the sawn timber to importer counties. So, the sawmills are operating, thereby creating job opportunities for the local people, he stressed.
“It will be fine to ban the export of raw timber logs. Otherwise, there will be a lot of Myanmar logs going out to other countries. At the same time, job opportunities will decline in our country. Now, we can give jobs to our people,” he said.
On 7 May, Royal River Trading company exported 17 tonnes of teak lumbers in one container to Canada, according to Royal River Trading company.
Myanmar has exported mainly teak and hardwood (Pyin Ga Toe). Currently, lumbers and finished timber products are highly demanded from foreign counties. There are also demand in the local market, according to MFPTMA.
According to 2017-2018 annual progress report of Myanmar Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (MEITI), Myanmar has earned US$ 223 million from the production of 340,428 tonnes of teak in 2017-2018FY. Among them, teak worth $137.69 million was sold in export tender while the remaining $85.31 million were earned from the local tender.
Moreover, Myanmar has earned US$ 88 million from exporting of timber lumbers. India is one of the biggest exporter countries with 37 per cent.
At present, MFPTMA has more than 3,000 members. Among them, over 300 members are active. Now, the election commission members are organizing to be able to celebrate reestablishing of the association. And the commission is coordinating for every member to be able to participate. (Translated by Hay Mar)

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