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Duty-free imports to be considered for extension

-Premier Smith stated that duty waiver on certain items is likely to be extended for persons who have not yet received insurance funds
A duty-free exemption list was created following hurricane Irma in an effort to allow person to import building supplies and other essential items. Photo: VINO/File
Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL), Premier and Minister of Finance, has announced that the duty-free list is likely to be extend. Photo: VINO/File
Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL), Premier and Minister of Finance, has announced that the duty-free list is likely to be extend. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL), Premier and Minister of Finance, announced during a live radio broadcast on ZBVI AM 780 on Sunday, November 19, 2017 that considerations are being made to extend the life of the duty-free list put in place by government shortly after Hurricane Irma on September 6, 2017.

The duty-free list allowed persons to not pay import duties on items including food, water, building materials, clothing, vehicles, household furniture and appliances, electrical fixtures, pharmaceuticals and many other items deemed necessary.

The exemption was scheduled to end on December 31, 2017 but residents called into the to ask the Premier if an extension will be given on the duty-free exemption list.

“I did say that we would review it in a timely manner, so chances are there will be an extension. I am not sure what areas, but we will be reviewing it shortly and then we will be able to make a statement,” the Premier responded.

The Head of State mentioned that persons who are calling for the extensions are those who have not yet received money from their insurance.

The Premier explained, “There are several reasons people are suggesting we renew it; for example, because of the delay in getting the payment from insurance companies it will take a little longer for them to order the materials. In fact, some people have not been paid as yet because it’s a lot of work for the insurance companies and so they will not be able to receive their supplies at the end of the year.”

Duty-free import will stimulate the economy

Meanwhile, some residents have expressed that the government should not have included some items on the list because this denies the territory of funds needed to pay government bills.

However, the Finance Minister said the duty-free import will stimulate the Virgin Islands (VI) economy.

He explained, “The more we can encourage them to get started, get the building supplies that in itself will jump start the economy and result in more revenues for the government as well. Therefore the spin-off effect of assisting people to bring in their items that itself will stir the economy and improve the government coffers as well.”

On the other hand, the Premier revealed that selected items might remain exempted if the government chooses to extend the duty-free list.

4 Responses to “Duty-free imports to be considered for extension”

  • Faithful (20/11/2017, 18:43) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Very considerate, low-income families can save for there needs. Thanks for whatever is offer to us.
  • just asking... (20/11/2017, 21:02) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    can we trust anything Doc tells us?
  • Sassy (20/11/2017, 21:53) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    My vitamins was a necessity and I had to pay customs duty. I thought them would have fall under pharmaceuticals.
  • Well boy (20/11/2017, 22:05) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Welcome thought. At least an additional three,up to the end of March 2018. That is 6 months and should be reasonable.


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