25th July 2024
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Govt orders tax exemption on donors, UN agencies with limitations

Author: Chany Ninrew | Published: May 3, 2024

Former Petroleum Minister Awow Daniel Chuang. (Photo: Courtesy).

The Minister of Finance and Planning Awow Daniel Chuang has directed tax exemption for all United Nations Specialized agencies, relief organizations and diplomatic missions, but maintained levies on service rendered by UNMISS-contracted firms.

This is in an apparent response to repeated pleas of Western Embassies and UNMISS on the South Sudan government to immediately halt newly imposed taxes and fees on humanitarian agencies.

Minister Chuang said he issued the directive with regard to section 88 of the Taxation Act 2009, and in recognition of the vital humanitarian and diplomatic efforts within the country.

The order that came into force on 3rd May 2024, reads that all UN agencies, humanitarian organizations and diplomatic missions in South Sudan shall be exempted from the payment of taxes and custom duties.

The ministerial order indicated that this is on goods and service imported for humanitarian purpose or for the mentioned entities to carry out their activities in the country.

“All UNMISS-contracted companies to render service internally shall not be part of this exemption of taxes, charges and fees on goods,” the order reads.

“These companies are profit-making entities and such as subjected to applicable tax related to service provided per the Status of Force agreement (SOFA).”

Minister Chuang stressed that exempted entities must comply with policies on Electronic Cargo Tracking Note, E-Petroleum Accreditation and dipping, marking and testing of fuel entering the country.

The embassies of Canada, the European Union, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States expressed concern over the imposed costs hindering humanitarian aid efforts in South Sudan.

The diplomatic missions cited examples of current efforts to impose costs on humanitarian assistance, including the ePetroleum Accreditation Permit, customs fees, and charges, the electronic cargo tracking note, laboratory tests on food rations, and security escort fees.

The United State ambassador to South Sudan recently pointed out that funding from his country intended to support vulnerable populations in South Sudan must not be used to pay taxes to the government.

Michael J. Adler said efforts to use US assistance to extract government revenue are not authorized and may lead to consequences for South Sudan, where millions are in need of humanitarian aid.


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