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Shaina Smith, the Interim Chairman of the BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association (BVICCHA), said that the Chamber will be advocating for things such as lowered freight charges and duty calculation, as a means of further stimulating the economic development of the Territory, and improve cost of living for residents.
In an October 1 announcement, Smith mentioned a number of undertakings in the pipeline, geared at boosting business success in the BVI. She said that the list of areas reflects the advocacy position the Chamber will be taking on regarding economic development matters.
According to the interim Chair, the areas that will be heavily lobbied by the BVICCHA were curated over the last six months, and form part of its advocacy agenda.
At the top of the agenda is a push to see cheaper shipping prices for goods arriving in the BVI. In noting this, Smith linked the increasing cost of doing business with high freight charges, and noted that the Chamber will be advocating for lower prices in this area.
Another factor of the import cost is the payment of duties, and this area will also be highlighted by the BVICCHA.
In disclosing the plans for getting attention placed on the duty charges, the interim Chair announced that the Chamber will “look at new fees and calculation to import duty”. This, she noted, will keep the price of goods and services down.
BVICCHA is also considering reform to the Hotel Aid government incentive. Through the Hotel Aid benefit, businesses are permited to import eligible items for the construction, equipping, extension or renovation of a hotel property, free of import duties.
As part of its advocacy mandate, the Chamber announced that it intends to push for reform to Hotel Aid and pioneer status legislation.
Additionally, Smith said that they will also be calling for incentives for emerging industries.
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Hit The Nail On The HeadI think in your research you will find that the high cost of shipping are connected to the added cost that shippers incur from the added security from high seas pirates, weather conditions and trade wars. Solution???...many...but there are no free lunches. Reduced revenue to the government coffers from lowered customs duties that were destined for national expenditure HAVE TO BE RECUPERATED FROM ANOTHER SOURCE. We cannot always think like a social democrat (spend...spend..welfare), we have to think like a republican (...business, investment, revenue, nation building..infrastructure) how do we invest to generate revenue to spend on the things the nation needs!
Ha Ha Haaa!!! Only In BVIAt the end of the day they might as well offer the hotels every thing free after all the freebs they are already getting.
As far as I am concerned the BVI has he lowest import duty rate. Cost of living so high in BVI because of greed. These merchants especially super markets are making a kill after paying 5% to 15% on most items and even duty free on some items.
Imagine importing a vehicle here and paying 20% duty while in the Islands you pay from 55% to 80% duty including their VSAT, which BVI do not pay any VAT.
I hope she did her home work and not just advocating for advocating sake.
Which Island gave duty free for imports during and after the hurricanes? Only BVI, but guess what? The merchants did not pass on the duty free concession to customers.
What Government should do is do Duty Claw or Draw back, that way, the merchants would have to show proof that the customers received the duty concession. In order words charge duty to the merchants and when they show proof that the duty free was passed on to the customers, then Gov. will refund them, the merchants. That's my 2 cents.