Prime Minister Announces Measures Aimed at Improving the Efficiency of Clearing Courier Packages

Prime Minister Announces Measures Aimed at Improving the Efficiency of Clearing Courier Packages
Roseau, Dominica – Thursday, July 24, 2014 – Prime Minister and Minister for Finance the Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit has announced measures aimed at improving the efficiency of clearing courier packages. The Prime Minister did so as he presented the 2014/2015 National Budget Address to the Parliament on Wednesday, July 23, 2014, titled “Towards Expansion of the Economy”.

Prime Minister Skerrit told the parliament that with the advent of online internet shopping and the growing awareness by the population that goods and services required urgently can be accessed quickly via the internet has resulted in continuous growth of the courier business. The increase in courier business necessitates a change in the procedures utilised in clearing such items.

“Generally, people who utilise courier services anticipate receiving their goods within a short period of time. Customs and port procedures must take this fact into consideration. The current practices by which courier packages are cleared have not kept pace with the growth of that type of activity. A number of administrative and legislative changes have been identified to address this matter. Of specific significance is the introduction of a “Di Minimis” system. Under such a system, goods imported below a certain value do not attract any taxes and fees and the clearance procedures, including data requirements, are minimised,” Prime Minister Skerrit said.

A new system will be established for the immediate release of goods valued up to CIF EC$150.00 in keeping with the already established procedure of processing gift packages.
“During the sorting process, goods valued at CIF EC$150.00 and less would be released to the courier agents instead of being retained by customs for duty purposes. The Di Minimis system shall not apply to: commercial goods, tobacco products and alcoholic beverages. Commercial goods are goods imported into Dominica for any commercial, industrial, occupational, institutional or other similar purpose. We therefore expect the cooperation of all so that no one will attempt to misuse this system for commercial purposes or to import tobacco or alcoholic beverages,” Prime Minister Skerrit stated.
The Customs Division and the Dominica Air and Seaports Authority will also introduce new administrative procedures which will facilitate the ease of processing the clearing of goods on the port. The change will facilitate businesses and individuals in clearing goods in a more efficient manner.

The new “Di Minimis” system comes into effect from August 1, 2014,. Revenue forgone from the new measure is estimated at over four hundred and thirty-five thousand dollars.

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