LIBERIA – The Government of Liberia has issued Executive Order 125 suspending import tariffs on rice in a bid to alleviate economic burdens on Liberians.

President Joseph Nyuma Boakai, Sr. highlighted the government’s commitment to implementing measures that ease the high cost of living for its citizens. Recognizing rice as a staple food, the executive order aims to make this essential commodity more affordable for every Liberian, thereby alleviating financial burdens.

Liberia heavily relies on imported rice, and the government’s assessment predicts a continuous increase in rice prices in the foreseeable future. 

By suspending import tariffs, the government aims to offset the increasing high cost of rice. Currently, 25kg of broken rice is sold for US$20 as the retail price.

This surge in rice prices threatens to exacerbate the economic burden on citizens and residents within the country’s borders.

Under the terms of Executive Order #125, the import tariff on rice classified under HS Codes 1006.30.10.00 (semi-milled or wholly milled rice, whether polished or glazed and in packings of more than 5kg or bulk) and 1006.40.00.00 (broken rice) under the Revenue Code of Liberia Act 2000 is suspended with immediate effect.

The state order comes after the Association of Rice Importers, recently, notified the government of their plan to increase prices amid import challenges and costs.

The Minister of Commerce, Amin Modad, addressing a press conference, stated that the importers cited several genuine reasons for the proposed increase, including disruptions to shipping routes through the Suez Canal due to the Ukrainian and Russian crisis, conflicts in the Middle East, and specifically, a 20 percent increment in export tariffs imposed by the government of India.

He, however, assured the public that the government has taken swift measures to ensure the price of rice has dropped to an affordable level.

Modad emphasized that after a series of negotiations with the importers, they agreed to reduce the wholesale ceiling price of the 25kg bag of Indian parboiled rice.

He mentioned that importers have decided to halt the increment but confirmed that there are 120,000 metric tons of 25kg bags of rice available from now until June.

“In addition to reducing the price, we have agreed that they will also provide an alternative rice variety so that when there is an increase in rice prices globally, the Liberian people have more affordable options on the market,” Modad stated.

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