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Liberian president issues Executive Order; halts tariffs on agriculture products

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Liberia President Dr George Manneh Weah, has issued Executive Order #97, suspending tariffs on 40 agriculture products.

The Executive Order, which takes effect as of the date of issuance, 14 August 2019, is aimed at enabling key market players to overcome constraints in the agriculture sector and fully maximize farmers’ potential to contribute to the sector.

The Executive Order notes that tariffs associated with agriculture inputs are high, thereby adversely affecting the agriculture sector and poor rural farmers who rely predominantly on agriculture for their livelihood.

The 40 affected agriculture products include ‘Live bovine animal breeding, all types of agriculture seeds of cereals, including rice for sewing under Chapter 10 and of the Harmonized Coding System
(Customs Tariff), animals or vegetable fertilizer, whether mixed together or chemically treated; fertilizer produced by mixed or chemical treatment, among others.

President Weah ordered that the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, in consultation with the Minister of Agriculture and the Commissioner General of the Liberia Revenue Authority, shall establish the processes and procedures by Administrative Regulation for the granting of tax exemption to eligible beneficiaries within the agriculture sector.

“Importers of Agriculture Inputs shall pay only Customs Users Fees (CUF) and the ECOWAS Trade Levy ETL, where applicable,” the Executive Order asserts.

“It is projected that by reducing the tariff on Agriculture Inputs, farmers would be able to access high quality agriculture inputs at affordable prices, agricultural productivity would improve, agricultural activities would become commercially viable, product consistency would increase, and local farmers would have sustained higher incomes.”

The Executive Order synergizes with the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development which, amongst other things, places priority on food security and other agriculture productions.

– APA

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