Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie has announced that all customs duties on imports that are above five percent (5%) will be reduced to five percent (5%) effective April 15 for three months in the first instance as the Government of the Virgin Islands makes the relevant adjustments to provide relief to the people of the Territory.
The Premier said goods and services that are currently at 5 percent and less would remain the same. The policy he said will apply to businesses as well as private citizens.
Premier Fahie said, “Additionally, duties calculated on volume (Fossil Fuel, Propane and Cement) will be reduced by fifty percent (50%) of their current rate from $0.22 cents to $0.11 cents per imperial gallon for diesel and from $0.32 cents to $0.16 cents per imperial for gasoline.”
Citing an example, the Premier said a person who imports a motor vehicle costing $30,000 dollars including shipping, would pay regular import duty of twenty percent (20%) or $6,000 dollars. He said under this initiative, the duty will be capped at 5% and they would pay the reduced duty of only $1500 during the period of the stimulus initiative. “This would be a $4500 savings on that one purchase,” the Premier said.
Honourable Fahie further added that persons and businesses will now only pay 5% when it comes to the importation of food, clothing, construction materials, marine supplies and equivalent, vehicles parts, products for senior citizens and all other items including the tourism industry, where the regular customs duty is over 5%. This, he said, will lower the overall cost of importing these items.
The Premier said Cabinet approved the reductions on April 13 and that he is confident that all legislators in the House of Assembly will support the measures that will give the people of the Virgin Islands some relief.
“Cabinet has also approved as part of the policy, the reduction of import duty on cement and propane by 50% of their current rate from $0.18 cents to $0.09 cents per 100 pounds of cement, and $1.20 to $0.60 cents per 100 pounds of propane,” Premier Fahie added.
Residents are also invited to take advantage of the zero import duty on most of the equipment and supplies needed for Going Green and switching to sustainable energy sources such as solar.
To benefit from the duty reduction incentive, persons must utilise CPC Code C420. For items that are 5% and below, persons will continue using CPC Code C400, and for the goods which duties are calculated on the volume, they will continue to utilise CPC Code C481 for fuel.
Persons can contact Her Majesty’s Customs at (284) 468-6800 with questions related to the tax reduction initiative.
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