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Exigency Order in Place

Acting Deputy Financial Secretary Athena Marche - at NEMA-Min. of Finance Press Briefing - Exigency Orders Sept 4, 2019 by Derek W Smith 32 365798

An Exigency Order is now in place to bring some relief to hurricane ravaged victims in Abaco and Grand Bahama as it is going to be a long road to recovery.

The government is looking to make the process of getting life back to normal as easy as possible for hurricane victims.

Athena Marche, acting deputy financial secretary at the Ministry of Finance, during a press conference detailing the process surrounding the Exigency Order, explained that the order only applies to the Abacos and Grand Bahama.

The Exigency Order, according to the Ministry of Finance, will allow for imports duty free and locals buy VAT free.

The order applies to hurricane victims and those who are making charitable donations to relief efforts.

“The tax breaks under the Exigency Order only apply to the following approved islands: Abaco and the Abaco Cays, Grand Bahama Islands, Sweetings Cay, Deep Water Cay and Water Cay,” Mrs. Marche said.

“For the next 30 days, bottled water, clothing, food for personal consumption and personal hygiene products will be duty free and VAT free for individuals and businesses importing these items as donations to registered charities.

“For the next 90 days, medicine and medical supplies, building materials, tents, cots, bedding materials, mosquito nettings, electrical and plumbing fixtures and materials, household furniture, furnishings and appliances and electrical generators will be duty free and VAT free for individuals and businesses importing these items as donations to registered charities.” 

The order also waives a number of fees for 90 days in the case of non-commercial flights bringing relief to the affected communities.

“A number of fees will be waived for three-months for non-commercial flights bringing in relief goods in the affected islands, including departure tax, customs processing fees and environmental levy fees,” Mrs. Marche explained.

“There may be a need for items that are not on the approved list. Application may be made to the Ministry of Finance for review to import the same.”
Mrs. Marche further noted that there is a comprehensive register of charities maintained by the Registrar General.

“NEMA also has a list of charities that are engaged in disaster relief activities. If there are established charities that are not on a registered list for some reason, NEMA hosts a daily NGO briefing,” Mrs. Marche said.

NGO meetings will be held at the National Emergency Management Agency every day at 4 p.m.

“The Exigency Order is not exclusive to charities. All individuals and businesses can apply to import tax free goods under the Exigency Order,” Mrs. Marche added.

“However, all goods imported under the Exigency Order must be used for charitable purposes by registered charities.”

If you are second guessing which charities to help out, you can make direct donations to hurricane victims, however, that’s only for the first 30 days.

The Exigency Order was declared on September 2.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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