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Govt backtracks; extends vehicle import exemption





Following pushback over the government’s decision not to extend the import of replacement vehicles duty-free on Abaco and Grand Bahama, the Minnis Administration has had a change of heart and extended duty-free vehicle imports.


On Tuesday, the Ministry of Finance announced the expansion of tax relief measures under the Special Economic Recovery Zone (SERZ) Extension Order for the islands of Grand Bahama and the Abacos.


Earlier today, Cabinet approved the Disaster Reconstruction Authority (Special Economic Recovery Zone) (Relief) (Amendment) Order, 2021, which includes construction services in the list of tax exempted activities until June 30, 2021.


“Construction activities remain a critical item for the recovery process. The SERZ Extension Order approved in December provided tax relief on the local sale and importation of construction supplies. The latest amendment order allows for the zero-rating of construction services, which will render these activities VAT Free within the Zone until June 30, 2021,” said Senator Kwasi Thompson, Minister of State for Finance.


There is a provision that specifically requires these services to be invoiced before June 30 and paid in full by September 31, 2021.


The latest amendment also extends the time allowance for the import of VAT free vehicles.


Replacement vehicles must be purchased and shipped prior to January 31, 2021, representing a one- month extension, an arrival in The Bahamas by April 30, 2021.


“The Government is listening and responding to the needs of the people. The road to recovery is not an easy one for residents in the islands devastated by Hurricane Dorian, and we are doing everything we can to provide support where we can,” said Thompson.

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