BVI News

Premier mulls duty-free merchandise for affected businesses

Premier Dr. D Orlando Smith speaking to members of the business community earlier today.

By Davion Smith

BVI News Online Staff

Business owners based locally may not have to pay customs duties on merchandise they ship into the British Virgin Islands while the territory recovers from the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma.

This is according to Premier Dr D Orlando Smith who promised to discuss the possibility of duty-free imports for businesses with his team of administrators.

“I will be taking it back to my committee as soon as I leave here, so we can look at it,” Dr Smith said during a meeting with the business community in Road Town this morning.

The subject of customs duty exemption came to the fore after businessman Aymen Hussein noted that his and several other businesses were gutted and/or looted because of the hurricane.

Aymen Hussein

“If we are gonna be able to build back the stores, we are gonna need supplies… We need a push and a help,” said Hussein who owns Hazem’s store in Road Town.

The businessman further told the Premier: “For now, give us a little exempt for a time for us to get in the merchandise. I’m not saying give us for free, but give us an exempt. Give us three or four months… We cannot do it alone.”

The request received much support from other business owners.

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