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LUSAKA Aug 26 Zambia plans to waive a rule
requiring mining companies and other exporters to produce import
certificates from destination countries because it is
impracticable, finance minister Alexander Chikwanda said on
Chikwanda said the ministry planned to negotiate a staggered
repayment of the $600 million in VAT it has withheld from copper
mining companies because of failure to produce the import
The government of Africa's second largest copper producer
last year started enforcing a 2008 requirement that exporters
provide it with the certificates for copper shipments in order
to curb tax avoidance.
However, the companies complained that they were often
unable to do so because they sold via middle men.
Chikwanda said he wrote to President Michael Sata asking
that the VAT rule be limited to export verification.
"The rule creates uncertainty and undermines confidence in
the economy," Chikwanda said in the letter dated July 15.
The companies affected include the local units of First
Quantum Minerals, Vedanta Resources, Barrick
Gold and Glencore Xstrata.
(Reporting by Chris Mfula; Editing by Ed Stoddard)