Fuel imports marked a historic record in the first quarter of the year

Fuel imports marked a historic record in the first quarter of the year, according to data from the Ministry of Finance. From January to April 2018, 160 thousand tons of oil were imported, with a 50 percent increase as compared with the same period last year. As it is seen, the import has reached a historic record in quantity since at least the year 2000, when the Ministry of Finance started reporting on this product. But market sources claim that, despite official data from the Ministry of Finance, oil consumption has not changed in relation to the previous year and that growth is undergoing a normal trend.Last year, domestic oil production accounted for about 25 percent of the domestic market, while “Made in Albania” oil was also exported to Kosovo and Macedonia. Fuels are the main supplier of the state budget with taxes, so product consumption is important for the fiscal revenue in the budget. Last year, only 15 billion ALL was collected from the diesel fuel tax, excluding VAT revenues.The high taxes we pay for oil are the main reason why Albania has so expensive fuel prices, where 60% of the price is made up of taxes.In Albania, oil is taxed as follows: Excise, 37 Lek per liter; the circulation tax, 27 Lek per liter; carbon tax, 3 leks per liter. In addition, last year’s costs included the marking and scanning fees, from 1 ALL per liter each. Total VAT amounts to 28 Lek per liter./Klara Ruci/