The government is set to raise the issue of Laos’s value-added tax in a joint discussion with Lao counterparts, fearing the new tax measure may cripple growing border trade. Adul Chotinisakorn, deputy director-general of the Foreign Trade Department, said that while the issue is an internal matter for Laos, it needs to be raised at the joint trade committee meeting. Thailand will ask for leniency and a spending ceiling from Laos during the meeting, which is expected to be held soon. Laos has begun collecting VAT on products imported from abroad, starting at the first Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge between Nong Khai province and Vientiane. Lao citizens or expat passengers living in Laos upon entry through border checkpoints, including international airports, are required to pay 10% VAT on their (new or used) personal effects valued at more than US$50. The VAT levy is waived for passengers who travel less than twice a month. Laos is improving facilities to ensure transparency and swift service, especially IT and software systems, as well as setting up more lanes.