Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 03, 2021 (SKNIS): Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, announced over three months of duty-free concession on foodstuff, a decision Cabinet took to assist in “delivering a better Christmas Season” to the people of St. Kitts and Nevis.

“The regular allowance of gift packages of foodstuff will be revised to allow the first 500 pounds free of duties and taxes. This most generous concession on food items will start not in December as was previously done but from November 15, 2021, and will be extended to February 28, 2022,” said Prime Minister Harris during his November 02 appearance on ‘Leadership Matters’, a virtual forum on ZIZ TV. “In other words, for over three months, consumers will have access to more affordable food.”

Prime Minister Harris said that in making the decision to extend the concession on foodstuff, the increase in delays experienced globally was considered. He added that his government will continue to put people first.

“My government wants to ensure that for as long as it is fiscally prudent, we intervene to allow more affordable goods. My government is a compassionate and generous one. We are doing unprecedented things to protect the poor and vulnerable and to help a wide cross-section of our community to thrive even during what is a most challenging period of the century,” said the prime minister.

In addition to the extended duty-free concession on foodstuff, travellers will receive free allowance on goods valued at EC $540 or US $200 off the CIF value during the period December first (1) to thirty-first (31), 2021. Additionally, there will be two Reduced VAT Rate Days in December.

“The concessions this year are intended to ease the burden on the working people and vulnerable sectors of our society and facilitate access by the vast majority of our people to a larger quantity of goods,” said the finance minister. “The huge VAT reduction from 17 percent to five percent will make goods more affordable and boost business activity in St. Kitts and Nevis.”

For vehicle purchases, VAT will be exempt on the first EC$50,000, with VAT at the standard 17 percent charged thereafter. Non-tangible items, such as the supply of professional services, will continue to be subject to the 17 percent VAT rate. Services such as legal fees, restaurant supplies, rent, tickets for the games of chance (lottery/ raffles), top-ups, and phone cards will not have the VAT reduced rate.

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