Late last week, I received notice from our shipper and our customs broker about an important recent change to the Bahamian SERZ (Special Economic Recovery Zone) provisions.
These are the concessions that allow residents, business people and second homeowners affected by Hurricane Dorian to import building materials, hardware, furnishings and other related items duty- and VAT-free.
You may recall that last December, the Bahamian government announced that the SERZ provisions would be extended until end of 2022.
However, as of last week, I’ve been advised that anyone wanting to take advantage of these provisions beyond the end of this month must complete a new Consolidated Tax Relief Form and submit it to the government for approval prior to March 31, 2022.
To qualify for the SERZ provisions beyond March 31, 2022, you must:
- Print and complete this form. (Yes, the document says, “for items imported between January 1 and June 30, 2021.” Ignore that.)
- Email the completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org for processing, or bring it to the Office of The Prime Minister located on the second floor of the government building in Marsh Harbour. Those with National Insurance Numbers can also upload the document via https://mygateway.gov.bs. (Ignore the submission instructions and email addresses provided on the form. And the part that says you must attach invoices? Ignore that, too.)
- Submit a copy of your ID with the completed form. Bahamians should include a copy the front/back of their Driver’s License or National Insurance Card. Non-Bahamians should submit a copy of their passport and proof of property ownership (i.e., BPL bill, property tax receipt). Business owners should attach a copy of their personal ID as well as a copy of their current business license.
- Forward a copy of the stamped form that you receive back from the government to your customs broker for use with your future 2022 shipments.
Questions? Contact your customs broker for further details.