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Customs to meet with importers for tax reforms

Customs to meet with importers for tax reforms

NEW YORK: A month after amendments were made to a law which enables the government to again charge merchants higher duties to import goods, the state-owned Customs Department said it will tomorrow (December 1) meet with importers to hear their concerns regarding the change.

As was reported by BVI News Online last week, the amendment could also see consumers paying more for goods, unless merchants decide to absorb the increases.

The latest amendments to the Customs Management and Duties Act became effective on November 3, and merchants are being charged higher import duties based on a formula known as Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF).

That CIF formula was previously in place until 2012 when the law was amended at the time to introduce a cheaper taxation formula known as Freight on Board (FOB).

When FOB was in place up to recently, merchants were charged less to import goods, and were told to pass the savings on to consumers.

But, amid claims that the savings were not being passed on, the government last year announced that it would go back to using the old CIF formula that would be more onerous on merchants.

Indicating that merchants have questions and concerns rusting from amendments to the law, the Government Information Service, in a media release, said Acting Commissioner of Customs Leslie Lettsome will meet with the importers tomorrow.

“Acting Comptroller of Customs Mr Leslie Lettsome said the Customs Department has organised a meeting with local merchants to discuss the reverting of the amendments. He said questions and concerns from stakeholders will also be addressed.”