DUSHANBE, February 15, 2011, Asia-Plus  -- A 5-percent value added tax (VAT) imposed on imported pharmaceutical product may bring in some 6 million U.S. dollars to the country’s budget, a source at the Customs Service under the Government of Tajikistan told Asia-Plus today.

According to him, 7,837 tons of medicines worth US$116.7 million were delivered to Tajikistan last year.

“Imported medicines were exempted from VAT in 2006 for the purpose of regulating medicine prices inside the country and promoting development of domestic pharmaceutics, said the source, “Before 2006, the imported medicines had been liable to a 20-percent VAT.”

“We, however, came to conclusion that the introduced measures had not yielded any tangible results; on contrary, the medicine prices have begun to rise and domestic pharmaceutical industry has not developed properly, and therefore, it has been decided to impose a 5-percent VAT on the imported medicines,” he added.

On January 1, 2011, a 5-percent VAT was imposed practically on 99 percent of imported medicines.  The list of VAT-free pharmaceutical products now includes vaccines, serums, plasmas and medicines delivered to the country in a form of humanitarian aid.

According to the statistical data from the Ministry of Health (MoH), Russia accounts for 30-40 percent of Tajikistan’s medicine imports.  Ukraine and India also provide the bulk of Tajikistan’s medicine imports.

Six pharmaceutical enterprises now operate in the country.