Tax on Stone Exports to Be Reduced

Black Granite. Photo: Sunland-Buy Stone Cambodia Granite Factory / Facebook

PHNOM PENH — The Cambodian government has decided not to levy export taxes on processed natural stones and to reduce tax on unprocessed natural stones to help improve the stone business. However, the move has become a concern for environmental activists.

“Today, I signed a sub-decree authorizing the reduction of export tax rates on some natural stone products in order to ease the burden for exporters and help Cambodian natural stone products compete on the international market,” Prime Minister Hun Manet said on Sept. 29.

The government has reduced the export duty on unprocessed natural stone from 30 percent to 10 percent. These unprocessed natural stones include marble, travertine, ecaussine, granite, porphyry, basalt, sandstone and other calcareous monumental and building stones, whether or not roughly trimmed or merely cut.

These stones but in slabs will see a tax reduction of 5-to-30 percent.

Then, processed natural stones will be taxed from 0-to-20 percent. These will include setts, curb stones, flagstones, mosaic cubes, tiles, cubes and similar articles, marble, travertine, alabaster and granite.

However, environmental activist San Mala said that he is concerned the government's decision will increase mining activities and that quarrying activities will affect the livelihoods of local people, as well as damage natural resources.

“Exemptions or reductions of taxes make the state more disadvantaged, while the rich have more opportunities to make a profit through activities that harm natural resources,” he said. 

As the government is attempting to collect taxes from people, the authorities exempt and reduce taxes on businesses destroying large natural resources, Mala said. 

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