The British Virgin Islands government has announced a series of measures to kickstart its economy in preparation for the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
One of those steps is the restructuring of its customs duties system.
In a national address on the theme “Get Ready To Move: Our Economy Is Going Into Overdrive”, Premier Andrew Fahie outlined the concept for the two-tiered system which has been on the cards for several years and with the territory’s private sector has been pressing the government to introduce.
Under the proposed system, businesses will pay a lower rate for imported products for sale than residents to reduce the end cost to consumers.
This is expected to also have the effect of reducing competition to local businesses from online and other overseas purchases by residents with major global entities such as Amazon.
Mr Fahie said, “This will allow our business people to receive a reduction in the cost of goods to pass down to the customers."
He explained that residents “will simply pay more duty on items entering the Territory and this could serve as a deterrent to overseas shopping based on pricing while encouraging persons to shop locally for items as legitimate local businesses will then be able to offer lower pricing.”
No further details were disclosed on how the new customs duties will be structured.