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Musical instruments and bicycles exempt from personal import duty

Musical instruments and bicycles are both exempt from the 10% personal import duty, Chief Minister Fabian Picardo announced during a session of Parliament last Friday.
The exemptions came into effect as from midnight on August 1 and the decision was welcomed by Leader of the Opposition, Keith Azopardi, and Independent MP Marlene Hassan Nahon.
Mr Picardo said the personal import duty introduced last month has been “positive” and encouraged local spending.
The decision to remove duty from musical instruments comes after representations by the Musicians Association of Gibraltar [MAG].
The Association believes that this “small gesture” will help local music thrive and assist in the growth of music in local establishments, providing entertainment for young and old.
“As a Government we have always wanted to encourage budding musicians to explore as many instruments as they might wish, given there is a limited offer for anyone wanting to buy a musical instrument in Gibraltar any person importing a musical instrument in Gibraltar will not have to pay duty on that import,” Mr Picardo said.
MAG thanked the Government, the Chief Minister, and the Minister for Culture, John Cortes, and the Minister for Business Vijay Daryanani, adding that this gesture would be applauded by all local musicians as most are hobbyists and their instruments cannot be bought locally.
“We are currently in discussions with Ministers Cortes and Daryanani to develop a symbiotic relationship to help further develop Gibraltar’s culture and music scene which will also benefit local businesses,” MAG said.
Mr Picardo added the removal of import duty on bicycles served to create a positive impact on the environment.
“We want to see more bicycles on the road, the lockdown has served to reignite cycling passions and we have seen a large number of bicycles imported into Gibraltar,” Mr Picardo said.
He noted that members of the public may wish to import brands of bicycles not available locally.
“This is a trend we want to be continued for its positive impact on traffic, health and the environment,” he said.
“There will therefore but no import duty on the personal importation of bicycles into Gibraltar as from August 1, 2020.”
The exemption of import duty on vehicles has now come to an end.
Mr Picardo said this has put “newer, cleaner” cars on Gibraltar’s roads and has encouraged the sale of hybrid vehicles.
He added the measure had also “empowered” the larger motor vehicle companies to “fend for themselves” instead of claiming Government support.
Ms Hassan Nahon questioned how many “polluting vehicles” had been purchased during this period and how many old vehicles have been condemned, recycled or disposed of.
She said this would give a picture of the effect this policy has had, adding the removal of import duty on vehicles gave a “conflicting message” environmentally.