(PRESS RELEASE) – The St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce Industry and Agriculture made it clear that it supports the Customs and Excise Department in its efforts to ensure that sale of Duty Free Liquor and other goods is conducted within the permits of the law.
In its follow up meeting on the subject as part of its Getting Down to Business Series the Chamber of Commerce members were advised of the efforts on the way within the Customs and Excise Department to regularize the operations of that sector.
The meeting revealed that the illegal sale of duty free products is causing serious injury to government finances as there is significant loss of revenue to government, while there has been a commensurate decline in sales of similar duty paid products. Moreover, the companies who trade in the duty paid products are seeing a decline in sales and taxable profit as well.
The Customs and Excise Department has already commenced training Duty Free Operators and Customs Officers in the new Warehouse Inventory System which will continue in February 2018, Meanwhile the procedures and regulations for the operation of Duty Free Shops will be reinforced and shared with the sector to ensure that they are familiar and aware of how they should conduct themselves.
Numerous suggestions on how the system can be enhanced were floated and discussed at the meeting, with the Customs and Excise Department agreeing to seek to implement them in the immediate future. However, of great significance was the agreement that the Duty Free Shop Operators should make their customers aware that it is an offense to purchase goods at duty free prices which are supposed to be exported and not do so.
The Meeting was hosted on Wednesday 8th November 2017 at the Chamber Secretariat and was attended by Customs Officials, representatives of the Ministry of Commerce, Duty Free Operators and a wide cross section of Chamber members.
The “Getting Down to Business” Series continues Wednesday November 22nd 2017 with the Import License Regime and Price Control Regime.