Montserrat Customs’ Import tariff rates reformed

BRADES, Montserrat – Measures to simplify and rationalise import tax rates will be introduced from 1st June 2012, says Director General of the Montserrat Revenue Services (MCRS) Frank Ferguson.

In an official statement from MCRS and the Ministry of Finance, Ferguson said that “by abolishing service tax the reforms will lighten the burden on importers by reducing the number of taxes charged on imports from three to two. The new rules will make importers liable for duty and consumption tax only.

“The revisions will cause changes to be made to the tax rates charged on over 6,000 different tariff items and the number of tax rates will be reduced in many instances.

Careful consideration has been given by the relevant departments to the various policy objectives of the Government of Montserrat, especially the social impact of these changes and adjustments made accordingly. In the main, items used by the lower income groups will attract a lower banding whilst luxury items such as some electronic goods will attract a higher banding.

Full details of all the tariff changes can be found on www.customs.gov.ms and www.gov.ms (click on ‘Publications’).  Copies of the revised tariff rates will also be made available for inspection at points of entry into Montserrat (the Customs offices at the airport in Lookout and the sea port in Little Bay) as well as at the Public Library in Brades. The launched versions have been copied from excel format but the official publications will be available in due course.

“The reforms to the import tax regime were announced in the 2011/12 budget and will ease and simplify tax collection. They represent a key part of the Government’s commitment to the Strategic Growth Package. The Government of Montserrat will continue its efforts to further simplify the rates in particular, those rates that have been negotiated under the Common External Tariff Agreement of the Caribbean,” the statement read.

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