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Ukrainian parliament restores import taxes

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KYIV — Ukraine’s parliament has restored import taxes that had been lifted to ensure enough food and goods reached local consumers despite disruptions to logistics chains since Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion, lawmakers said on Tuesday.

Danylo Hetmantsev, head of parliament’s committee on finance, tax and customs policy, said on the Telegram app that 234 lawmakers in the 450-seat parliament had voted in favor of a bill setting out the restoration of import taxes.

The state budget has lost more than 14 billion hryvnias ($473.90 million) in revenues since the import duties and value added tax were suspended on April 1, the finance ministry said in an appeal to parliament to restore taxation.

It said that loopholes had allowed the import not only of essential goods, but also of luxury items and expensive cars.

“In addition, lower taxation on imports creates a competitive advantage for imports over domestically produced products. As a result, domestic producers are experiencing additional obstacles to resuming production,” the ministry said in a document published on the parliamentary website.

The bill must be signed by President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and then published to go into effect. ($1 = 29.5420 hryvnias) (Reporting by Natalia Zinets, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

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