Discusses pricing formula and other fees, value-added tax (VAT), etc.

Generally, prices are determined by market forces.  However, the Ministry of Commerce & Industry (MOCI) monitors prices and sets price ceilings for certain essential commodities such as petroleum products, rice, cooking oil, and cement.  In the past, MOCI price controls have contributed to product scarcity, price hikes, and black-market sales.  Importers are required to submit cost information to the MOCI for approval.  Permitted mark-up varies according to product, and is based on freight on board (FOB) value. Invoiced prices are subject to arbitrary revision.  Liberia does not have a value added tax (VAT) system.  The MOCI requires all business entities to display price tags on their commodities denominated in either Liberian dollars or U.S. dollars, in line with prevailing exchange rates.  As a result of exchange rate fluctuations, the price of basic goods may fluctuate by up to five percent on a weekly basis.  Although the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) sets the official exchange rates, market forces determine the prevailing street rates. Although the MOCI has recently stepped up the enforcement of its market inspection exercises, it does not enforce the government’s regulation on price tagging of commodities.   

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