Govt seeks to Add Citrus to List of VAT Free Item Effective Thursday

Govt seeks to Add Citrus to List of VAT Free Item Effective Thursday

The minister responsible for Finance and Economic Affairs, Ryan Straughn has announced the government’s plans to remove the import duty on citrus. He outlined, in Parliament, a series of measures aimed at trying to bring down the cost of food including widening the list of VAT-free items, reducing the duty on others, and cutting the retailer mark-ups.

Mr. Straughn was delivering a ministerial statement as a follow-up to last week’s announcement by Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley of government measures in response to rising food prices.

The measures take effect from Thursday and will be in place for the next six months.

In this regard, I propose to add to the list of items for which VAT will be removed from July 21, 2022, until January 31, 2023. These items are hot chocolate, cornflakes, cream of wheat,  sliced ham and flavored black tea, honey, peanut butter and apples. We have gone even further and we’re now seeking to remove the import duties on citrus. Our government will remove the import duty on fresh oranges, fresh grapefruits, fresh lemons, and fresh limes. To ensure that we can boost all Barbadians’ immune systems by reducing the customs duties on those limited items until January 31, 2023.

He also spoke of the agreement with retailers, distributors, and farmers to slash the mark-ups on a long list of items including chicken, eggs, and bread.

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