The Ministry of Finance has removed a 1 percent tax on gold imports, effective Friday, after the central bank eased a ban on imports to increase supply of the precious metal to the local market.
All semi-processed and unproccessed gold products in the form of bars and powder will attract zero tariffs, according to a ministry circular.
Experts said the decision was a surprise as the ministry plans to impose a 20 percent tax on gold exports for next year. Vietnam does not currently impose any tax on gold exports.
The unexpected move sent local gold prices down to VND35.1 million per tael (1.2 ounces of gold), the lowest level since November 8.
After a gold frenzy that saw gold hit a record high of VND38 million on November 9, the State Bank of Vietnam decided to allow gold imports for the third time this year.
On Friday, the central bank said it will allow additional imports to continue for stabilizing the local market.