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Customs appeal for compliance with new legislation

Symposium set for May 30 to inform merchants of new calculation methods of duties
Commissioner of Customs Wade Smith is appealing for persons to be compliant with the recently passed Customs legislation. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – The Customs department is appealing for compliance with their two recently passed legislation and has made it clear that those who breach compliance will be penalized.

In August 2011, the Customs Management and Duties (Amendment) Act, 2011 made provision for time home builders to receive Customs Duty exemptions on construction material while the second legislation passed more recently in March 2012 – the Customs Management and Duties (Amendment) Act, 2012 - allows for the calculation of duties for merchants to only be on their purchase price.

Commissioner of Customs Wade Smith told Virgin Islands News Online, that Department has been approached by several persons who still does not understand the legislation and what they entail and more importantly regarding the 2012 amendment, that it only applies to merchants.

In light of that, a special symposium for merchants slated for May 30, 2012 will be held at the Customs Headquarters in Road Town, where they will be informed of how the duties are calculated and the procedures required.
First time Home Builders requirements.

Meanwhile, Commissioner Smith is reminding all persons, who are applying for first time homebuilders exceptions of the guidelines and requirements for such exemptions. Applicants need to produce a certified copy of a Bill of Quantities from a Licensed Quantity Surveyor, a copy of approval from Town and Country Planning and the Building Authority, proof of citizenship and completion of First Time Home Builders Declaration from which can be obtained from the Customs Department.

Mr. Smith emphasized that applicants should be warned that any contravention of the Customs Management and Duties Act such as false declaration or otherwise, will result in prosecution, which may include fines, imprisonment, and seizure of goods and property or even all of the above, in connection with the offense.

The exemption Mr. Smith explained, applies only to Belongers desirous of owning and constructing a home for the first time and is for construction materials including steel, lumber, corrugated metal roofing and cement. To simplify it, he said the exemption is on everything except furnishings.

Since the legislation has been in effect, Smith confirmed that a number of individuals have applied and the process has already begun for them to receive their exemptions. Approval is known within minutes of the submission of applications and the process follows with them submitting their approved First Time Homeowners Declaration form with their entry while clearing their goods and the officers will verify form and they can then receive their exemptions.

Customs reduction for merchants only
Regarding the recently passed legislation which will now see duties only being charged on goods from the purchase cost, the Commissioner of Customs wanted to make it clear that such duty reductions is only for merchants.

According to the legislation, it defines a merchant as an importer who has a valid trade license for the wholesale and retail or retail of goods in an unchanged state. This Mr. Smith further explained means, those merchants purchasing goods that will have to be changed such as those shopping for restaurants where they have to cook the goods, the reduction will not apply to them.

“The merchant will pay duty based on the purchase cost of the goods, less any insurance and freight cost. In the past the merchant will pay duty on what is cost, insurance and freight, now it’s just on the purchase price.”

It is the Customs Department’s hope that with the upcoming symposium, they can clear up any misunderstanding by persons on the legislation and how it works and who it applies to.

9 Responses to “Customs appeal for compliance with new legislation”

  • play penn (25/05/2012, 14:58) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    but he done say it costing the tax payers close to 3 million
  • qc (25/05/2012, 15:55) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Congratulations to Wade and his team hope they are ready for this new law...but many of his officers take out their duites with professionalism and helpfulness.
    • Devon O (26/05/2012, 18:24) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      qc you hit the nail on the head...Wade is a good man and I am not sure why they were trying to send he home!!!!
  • O Boy (25/05/2012, 15:59) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Watch the pose up
  • Suggestion (25/05/2012, 18:34) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Please have this aired on TV so those of us who cannot attend will still be able to benefit.
  • taxpayer (26/05/2012, 20:42) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Even Steve Wonder can see that this is intended to help K MARK. It has been said time and time again, the consumer will benefit nothing from this Legislation. One feels insulted when taken for granted.
  • never again (26/05/2012, 23:50) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    We believe that the Customs Management and Duties (Amendment) Act, 2012 is aimed at protecting certain individuals within the NDP.
  • bvi (27/05/2012, 13:08) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I am a business owner and not an NDP. Very glad for the assistance as well. Every panny saved helps
    • George H. Touch (27/05/2012, 23:30) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      but the said reality is you will not turn a penny over to we the consumers...trickle down economics is dead or vidoo economics


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