Participants at Thursday’s conference on methods to export mining products were agreed about the need to follow international practices. They also felt it would be better to negotiate prices than to stick to one initially quoted. Such intransigence may have negative effects.
Mining companies have to pay a five percent tax on the export value. Many complained that the tax authority often calculated the value arbitrarily, not taking into account several costs exempted in international practice, causing loss to exporting companies. They also criticized the Government for not amending the 88th protocol. At present, only the Central Customs Laboratory is authorized to analyze the ore to be exported, but the miners felt this can be done in the special laboratories in the Erdenet and Tsairtmeneral factories.
The tax authorities defended themselves strongly, saying mining companies operate only for profit and try to pay as little tax as possible. Some observers at the conference agreed with this and said the mine usage fees should not be seen as a tax. According to D.Chilkhaajav, expert from the General Authority for Professional Monitoring, the companies must pay the five percent fee, no matter what the cost of production was.