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Govt clarifies exemptions from new 10% duty

The Gibraltar Government said last night that the new 10% import duty on personal shopping will not apply to certain products that are not easily sourced in Gibraltar or are purchased for medical reasons.

The clarification was issued after the plans for the new hike in duty, which aims to encourage local shopping, drew adverse reaction from many in the community.

Under the new scheme, import duty will not be paid on personal imports of the following :
• Medicines;
• Medical aids and accessories;
• Sanitary products;
• Any items to assist those with disabilities;
• Books;
• Educational products;
• Clothing clearly labelled as children’s clothing;
• Imports totalling less than £25;

“This is a new policy in which the Government is exploring a different approach in order to support local business as we emerge from the current crisis and at a time when businesses locally are seeking to find their feet,” No.6 Convent Place said in a statement.

“It is aimed at encouraging people to shop locally and it may be necessary to adapt this list and to issue further clarifications from time to time. The above list is therefore not finite.”

“In any event, the Collector of Customs already has wide discretion generally and if the situation should present itself whereby a product is necessary and not available in the local market, the person seeking to import it can always write to the Collector of Customs to seek his discretion to waive the duty.”

“The Collector has been empowered to do this for many years.”

“Furthermore, as is customary for changes of duty, if anyone can show that they ordered an item before the introduction of this scheme, they also can apply to the Collector for him to exempt the item from duty.”

The Government said it will assess the impact of the policy over the next quarter and seek ways to rationalise the existing tariff to consider the best ways to harmonise rates and make it more understandable.

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