Vietnam has raised tariffs caps on imports of fuel, petrol and diesel products, the Ministry of Finance said on Thursday, a move which could translate into higher state income given the country's rising imports of these products.
This follows a drop in global oil prices that will hit the country's finances. The Vietnamese government has said every $1 fall in the oil price will create a loss of 1 trillion dong ($46.95 million) in the state budget.
Brent crude oil steadied around $70 a barrel on Thursday as investors searched for a stable price range after a near 40 percent fall since June.
The new tariff regime, which fluctuates with Platts WTI crude oil prices, will allow the government to raise taxes on petrol and diesel imports.
Import taxes for petrol products will range from 20 percent to as high as 40 percent, up from the previous maximum of 30 percent, the government said. Diesel and mazut (a type of fuel oil) imports will face taxes of between 15 percent to 40 percent, also an increase from the 25 percent limit earlier, according to the government statement.
Fuel and oil products are among the top five imports into the Southeast Asian country. They were worth $7.19 billion in the first eleven months of 2014, an increase of 14 percent on the same period last year, according to data from the country's general statistics office (GSO).
But Vietnam's export-driven economy earned $6.86 billion from crude oil exports during January-November, or about 5 percent of the total goods shipped, GSO data showed.
Vietnam may lose 20 trillion dong ($938.97 million) next year if oil prices range around $80 a barrel, a government official said on Monday.
But Sandeep Mahajan, lead economist of the World Bank Group in Vietnam, said the country was now less dependent on global oil prices, having reduced revenue from crude oil to 5 percent of the value of total exports, from 25 percent previously.