Roseau, Dominica – Prime Minister and Minister for Finance the Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit has announced a reduction in import duties on computers, baby wipes and adult disposable diapers. Prime Minister Skerrit made the announcement as he delivered the 2014/2015 National Budget Address on Wednesday, July 23, 2014.
Prime Minister Skerrit stated that Government is seeking to have citizens make greater use of information and communication technologies through a number of policies already implemented. Included in these are the construction and outfitting of resource centres in many communities, making computers available at schools, the introduction of new e-government services including e-filing and the passage of the relevant e-government legislation. The Government has provided full access to the internet via wireless network at the Dominica State College.
“We believe that making computers more accessible to households will complement the ongoing effort. Equally important, is the necessity of assisting small businesses to incorporate the use of technology in their operations. Consequently, Government has decided to remove the import duty of 5% and the customs service charge of 3% which are now applied to computers. It means that only the VAT and the Environmental levy will be applied to computers on importation. We expect that this measure will benefit the many young people who rely on the technology for research and educational activities as well as those who have set up small businesses with the assistance and guidance of the Small Business Unit and the National Development Foundation of Dominica (NDFD),” the Prime Minister stated.
Meanwhile, the Dominica Labour Party Administration is conscious of the changing dynamics in caring for children and elderly. More than ever, baby wipes and disposable diapers are widely used. Prime Minister Skerrit announced relief for the consumers of these products.
“Baby wipes are now classified in the same category as soaps. In an effort to protect the local production of soap, the tariff on all items in this category is high at 65 percent. Baby wipes however are not manufactured in Dominica, and thus cannot be considered as an actual threat to the soap manufacturers. We have decided to remove the import duty on the baby wipes and to set the rate at zero. In regard to disposable diapers, the import duty rate is 20%. In a previous budget, this
Government reduced the rate for baby disposable diapers to zero. There is no threat to local production as that item is not produced locally. We have decided to remove the import duty on adult disposable diapers and set the rate at zero,” Prime Minister Skerrit stated.
Reduction of import duties on computers, baby wipes and adult disposable diapers takes effect from August 1, 2014.
Ref: GOVPR153/ 2014-07-25