On Thursday 26 September 2019, members of the duty free sector came together to formulate a proposal to address various issues including leakage in the duty free system and to enhance foreign exchange earnings generated by the sector.
This meeting was the second of its kind following a meeting held on Friday, 09 August 2019, where the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) convened a meeting with its members and other companies involved in duty free retail who may have been impacted by the measures introduced in the 2019 Budgetary Proposals and Financial Statements to ‘arrest the base erosion’ of the VAT in Schedule 1 and 2 of the VAT Act.
At the initial meeting, hosted by President of the BCCI, Mrs. Trisha Tannis, members of the BCCI and other representatives of local duty free retailers discussed the implications that could result from being subjected to restrictions in respect of the input VAT claim introduced on 01 April 2019. Some other conditions in the measures were that all duty free transactions occur in a foreign currency and that foreign currency bank deposits from duty free sales must at least equal the amount of foreign sales made.
The BCCI is continuing to make representation to government on behalf of members of the Duty Free sector as they work together to find ways to address the issues impacting the sector.