The Finance Ministry on December 4 increased the maximum preferential import duty on oil and petrol by 10 to 15 percent to touch 40 percent.

This is to compensate for the State budget's loss in the wake of a sharp drop in oil prices in the global market. Vietnam is a crude oil exporter with an export volume of 1.3 million tonnes last year.

Under directive 17728/BTC-CST, the highest import duty will be imposed if the petrol, kerosene, diesel and mazut prices listed by Platt in the Singapore market are below 60 USD per barrel within 15 days on average before the tariff revision day.

When Platt's price is between 60 USD and 75 USD per barrel, the maximum import duty will be 35 percent on petrol and kerosene, and 30 percent on diesel and mazut.

The import duty will be reduced to 25 percent for petrol and kerosene, and by 20 percent for diesel and mazut, if Platt's prices fluctuate around 75 USD to 95 USD per barrel.

The lowest import duty of 15 to 20 percent will be imposed when a barrel of fuel costs more than 95 USD.

According to the previous regulations, the maximum preferential import duty on petrol and gasoline was only 30 percent if the product's price in the Singapore market was 45 USD to 60 USD per barrel. The rate for diesel and mazut was only 25 percent.

According to the ministry, the maximum preferential import duty is among the references for the ministry to consider issuing guidelines on the detailed import duties on petrol and oil products.

Domestic petrol and oil importers often depend on the duty to build their business plans.

The oil price in the global market has dropped sharply from 105 USD per barrel in late July to 68.53 USD late last month, the lowest in the past four to five years.

Minister of Government Office Nguyen Van Nen said at a recent press conference that the State budget will lose 1 trillion VND (46.948 million USD) if the global oil price is reduced by 1 USD.-VNA