By Admin. Updated 5:55 a.m., Tuesday, April 4, 2023, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4).
Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has announced that his government plans to offer 100 percent duty-free concession to persons who import buses to operate a special service in the evening and at night.
Dr. Gonsalves made the announcement on Sunday, April 2, 2023, at the Unity Labour Party (ULP) South Leeward Constituency Conference in Vermont.
The prime minister said a nightly bus service will help to support the tourism industry by providing reliable nightly transportation services to hotel workers and other key stakeholders in the tourism industry.
The prime minister indicated that the 100 percent concessions will be available for the import of buses which are 18-seaters and above.
The operators will have a special license and will have to undergo service training.
He said the buses cannot compete with buses that make a daily commute. He said the busses can only be operated after 5:00 p.m. and throughout the night, but they will be able to offer tours throughout the day.
At the time of the announcement, the prime minister was speaking about the aims and objectives enshrined in the ULP’s convention, among which are “the development of people’s talents and skills to the fullest extent possible through training and education,” and “the fostering of the pursuit of just economic rewards for labour.”
He said initiatives like the 100-percent duty will help people to set up businesses to benefit from the expansion in tourism on the Leeward side of mainland St. Vincent.
In South Leeward and Central Leeward, several tourism developments are taking place including the building of a Sandals Resort at Buccament and the construction of Black Sands Resort at Peters’ Hope, and the planned Marriot Hotel Development at Mount Wynne.
Hundreds of individuals are expected to be employed and would need reliable transportation.
The current duties available:
According to page 20 of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Import-Export Guide (1st Edition), concessions are available on motor vehicles under at least seven established areas, two of which fall within the hotel and tourism industry.
The government, under its Restaurants & Bars and Bakery Programme, currently offers a 50 percent waiver on vehicles. Under its Tour Operators Incentive Programme, the government currently makes available a waiver of 75 percent duty to support persons who import vehicles to offer those services.