NASSAU, The Bahamas – The Minister of Finance and Planning, pursuant to the Tariff Act, has declared an Exigency Order that allows for exemptions on goods imported for recovery and rebuilding purposes following the destruction caused by Hurricane Joaquin.
The Exigency Order responds to the urgent need for specified goods required for recovery and rebuilding that the Minister of Finance is satisfied are intended for the relief of residents in the affected islands namely: Acklins, Cat Island, Crooked Island, Exuma, Inagua, Long Cay, Long Island, Mayaguana, Rum Cay, Ragged Island, Samana Cay, San Salvador who suffered hardship or loss as a result of Hurricane Joaquin, and whose claims/applications in respect of such goods are certified by the Director of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
The Minister of Finance declares that the import of goods specified is permitted for a period of 90 days commencing October 3, 2015.
The minister further declares the waiver of Landing Fees, Departure Tax for non-commercial flights bringing in relief goods, and Customs Processing fees on imports in the above-mentioned islands for a period of one month commencing October 3, 2015.
The islands of Acklins, Crooked Island, and Long Cay are declared sufferance port areas, for a period of three months commencing October 3, 2015.
The list of approved Duty Free goods are:
- Building materials
- Plumbing fixtures and materials
- Household furniture, furnishing and appliances
- Motor vehicles
The public is further advised that Customs Duty and VAT exemption will only be granted to registered charitable organizations, and individuals whose loss from Hurricane Joaquin has been verified by NEMA. In all other circumstances, donations would be deemed “Gift to Government” and would be distributed by NEMA.
Where any abuse or misuse of goods imported under this Declaration is observed, the goods may be seized and disposed of in accordance with Section 268 of the Customs Management Act.
In reference to Motor Vehicles – exemption will be based on the market value of the vehicle destroyed on the date to the Hurricane. The destroyed vehicle must be turned over to the authority of the Customs Department.