As the festive season approaches, Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) are encouraged to capitalise on benefits available through the government’s Omnibus Incentive legislation, The Customs Act and Stamp Duty Act.
“The government has several waivers and incentives that provide attractive fiscal benefits to our MSMEs. Among these is the Omnibus Incentives legislation, which provides varying relief in respect of customs duties, stamp duties etc,” Shelley-Ann Haughton, Customs Manager for Seaboard Warehouse/Freezone Operations at the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) said.
She was speaking at the Jamaica Business Development Corporation’s (JBDC) Virtual Biz Zone earlier this week on the theme: Moving Goods in the Christmas Rush.
The Customs Act provides for the duty-free importation of capital equipment and raw material. The manufacturing, tourism and creative industries will benefit from a duty rate of 0 per cent for industry-related consumer goods.
In detailing the benefits for manufacturing, agricultural, tourism and creative industries, Haughton highlighted that manufacturers get duty exemptions on the following imported goods; raw materials, intermediate goods, packaging materials, and consumables in addition to machinery and equipment and parts thereof.
She added that persons within the agricultural sector stand to benefit from the importation of equipment and machinery, as well as revised tariff rates ranging from 0 per cent to no higher than 20 per cent with some exceptions, as well as concessions for specific motor vehicles for farming purposes.
The revised rates are accessible to farmers who are registered with their local Rural Agriculture Development Authority (RADA).
Similar to those in the Agricultural sector, individuals within the tourism and creative industries benefit from the importation of equipment and machinery, as well as revised tariff rates ranging from 0 per cent to no higher than 20 per cent with some exceptions.
“The Productive Input Relief (PIR) provides that agricultural-related equipment and machinery used in the production of primary products or in quality control and testing of agricultural products that would have attracted customs duties are not required to pay the customs duty and the Additional Stamp Duty when purchased for productive use,” Haughton said.
Similarly, for the tourism and creative sectors, the PIR provides customs duty and stamp duty reliefs on specific hotel industry-related items and tourism attraction-related items when purchased for productive use.