National, News

Tax exemption, not fully restored–UN

By William Madouk


United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and Troika claimed that tax exemptions and fees imposed on humanitarian goods and fuel are not fully retrieved, as UN vehicles are still piled up at the border over the levies.

On May 1, the Minister of Finance ordered tax exemptions for all United Nations agencies, relief organizations, and diplomatic missions but maintained levies on services rendered by UNMISS-contracted firms.

But the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNMISS, Nicholas Haysom, said the imposition of taxes on UN agencies has affected humanitarian airdrops, affecting 60,000 needy people.

Haysom was speaking on Thursday during the 35th plenary of the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (R-JMEC) in Juba.

“The humanitarian situation was unnecessarily compounded by the imposition of taxes on trucks carrying fuel and other supplies to UN humanitarian, development, and peacekeeping operations,” said Nicholas.

He lauded the Minister of Finance and other government authorities for their cooperation in resolving the problem.

However, he said, “But as matters stand, challenges persist in implementing the Ministerial Order exempting the UN from taxation.”

“I call on all government authorities to allow the imports of UN and humanitarian goods and services without taxes. Indeed, on our part, we continue to give assurances of implementing rules that will ensure the probity of these transactions,” he added.

Equally, the British Ambassador to South Sudan, Guy Warrington, who was also speaking on behalf of Troika countries, backed up Haysom’s comment on persisting taxation on humanitarian assistance.

“I feel obliged to support the comment made by both SRSG and Canada in relation to the taxation of humanitarian assistance. We have acknowledged the government statement on this matter, but implementation again is the key,” said Warrington.

“The reality is that trucks are still stopped at the border, people are still trying to tax humanitarian assistance at the border, and our message is simple: this needs to stop,” he noted.




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