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DRC reinstates VAT on mining companies' imports

The Democratic Republic of the Congo has reinstated a value added tax, or VAT, on imports for mining companies, Reuters reported Aug. 12, citing John Nkono, secretary general of the Chamber of Mines.

The government suspended the VAT in July last year in order to help the industry during a commodity price slump and to repay about US$700 million in VAT reimbursements owed to the miners.

Nkono added that the decree for the suspension of VAT was valid for a year. The chamber informed the government about the expiration of the VAT in July, but did not hear back.

The reinstatement comes as the country seeks to boost tax revenue to battle severe economic problems and low commodity prices.

In a draft letter to Finance Minister Henri Yav, the president of the DRC's Chamber of Commerce, Albert Yuma, said the resumption of the VAT will "make the functioning of mining companies more difficult".

Major miners operating in the country include Glencore Plc, Randgold Resources Ltd. and China Molybdenum Co. Ltd.