Freeport, Grand Bahama –The Prime Minister addressed recent agreement by the Government to remove various customs fees paid by Port Licencees from July 2013, while touring the Grand Bahama Shipyard.
Since July 1st 2014, imports of duty free goods under the HCA under C14 forms are no longer subject to the 1% processing fee.
Regarding press comments as to certain export and other fees on such goods not as yet having been removed as contemplated, the Prime Minister reiterated at a Press conference: “The Government honours its commitments. There is no deviation from the intention. I directed this be settled during the course of today.”
Sarah St. George Vice Chairman of the GBPA expressed gratitude and appreciation to the Prime Minister for his message and for the Government’s continuing commitment to Freeport and Grand Bahama’s growth.
Value Added Tax (VAT) remains a high priority focus for the executive team of The Grand Bahama Port Authority who met with Dr. Michael Darville, Minister for Grand Bahama today.
GBPA President Mr. Ian Rolle sought reassurance from the Minister that the Government is carefully reviewing all concerns regarding VAT on services put forward by GBPA and its licencees.
Minister Darville assured President Rolle and his team that, “the Government has taken prudent steps to ensure that the VAT regime is consistent with the provisions of the HCA, including having the VAT legislation reviewed by international tax attorneys and receiving a legal opinion on its applicability with the Port from these attorneys.” He also indicated that he has been advised “that the Government’s legal advice on this matter is that the application of VAT on services provided by licencees does not violate the intent and spirit of the HCA.”
GBPA President Rolle expanded on the contrasting view currently held by GBPA and its licencees, and both parties acknowledged the position.
Both the Ministry of Grand Bahama and the GBPA agreed to further discussions surrounding VAT implementation in Freeport, Grand Bahama.
Grand Bahama Port Authority
Caption: EXECUTIVE TEAM MEMBERS OF GBPA DISCUSS VAT CONCERNS WITH MINISTER MICHAEL DARVILLE – (Left Side of Table from Left to Right) Ms. Kim Miller, GBPA Senior Group Corporate Affairs Manager; Ms. Karla McIntosh, GBPA Senior Legal Counsel; Mrs. Deann Seymour, GBPA Chief Financial Officer; Mr. Ian Rolle, GBPA President and Mr. Derek Newbold, GBPA Business Development Manager.
(Right Side of Table) (jacket) Minister Michael Darville, Minister for Grand Bahama and Mr. Melvin Seymour, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry for Grand Bahama.