Deputy Commissioner of Customs, Mr. Leslie Lettsome announced that the Duty Free Shopping System that was setup at the Pier Park almost two years ago is working well.
Mr. Malone who provided the update during his appearance before the Standing Finance Committee explained that the system is working as intended, and added that duty free cargo is cleared under a bond system, and when goods are sold there is a system where sales are recorded as local or international. It was noted that only the international sales are duty free.
He also pointed out that there are checks and balances in place to safeguard the integrity of the duty free system.
On 14 July 2015 the House of Assembly passed the “Tourist (Duty Free Shopping System) Act, 2015”, which established a tourist duty free shopping structure at the Pier Park
The Bill was presented by Premier and Minister for Finance Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith who indicated that the question of duty free shopping has been around for a long time. Hon. Smith stated that the Act that was passed allows for duty free offering in various parts of the Territory as any place that the Minister so desires can be declared a duty-free shopping zone.
Hon. Smith explained that the way the system works is that persons who purchase items within the duty-free zone would not be required to pay duty on those items. It is abundantly clear that the provision is for visitors only.
“The duty-free system that operates in many countries produces economic benefits to those countries…the economy of the BVI will likely benefit from the introduction of this system,” the BVI Leader added.