Bill to change customs duty tabled
A law change enabling a standard 25 percent duty rate to be charged on goods imported for personal use was introduced in the House of Assembly by Premier and Finance Minister Paula Cox.
The Island’s courier companies hit out at the move when it was first announced in the Budget statement last month, but the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce welcomed the move.
Government hopes it will encourage people to shop locally.
At present, there are various duty rates payable on items imported from abroad such as clothing, shoes, cameras and vitamins.
The rate for clothing is currently 6.5 percent, shoes are ten percent, cameras are 8.5 percent and vitamins are 15 percent.
Other items such as televisions, radios and car parts are currently charged at 33.5 percent.
There are certain exemptions to the 25 percent standard rate that is to be introduced.
There will be no duty, for example, charged on classroom stationary, sports equipment and computer equipment used in schools.
The full schedule to the Act listing exactly what items are subject to the 25 percent duty was not distributed when it was introduced last night.
According to Speaker Stanley Lowe, it will be sent electronically to MPs before the bill is debated.
The new legislation will also raise the personal duty free allowance for goods brought in through the airport from $100 to $200 per person.
And it will abolish temporary measures introduced in November which restricted the allowance to one claim per household and hiked the import rate for goods coming in through the airport to 35 percent.
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