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Published 18th February 2014, 11:56am

The Customs Tariff Law (2012 Revision) came into force March 1, 2014.

The Customs Tariff Law 2012 (that passed in the House on 5 April 2012) repealed the Customs Tariff Law (2011 Revision) to introduce an internationally recognised tariff classification system comprising approximately 5,000 codes.  At that time, the Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding System did not commence upon passage since the Customs Department required an upgraded computer system. The new transaction recording mechanism titled Total Revenue Integrated Processing System (TRIPS) that is now in place,  provides extensive reporting and risk assessment capabilities, explained Collector of Customs Samantha Bennett. “this customized system has been in the making for the past two years and we are extremely excited about going live with it knowing the operational capabilities it can provide to streamline, record, and assess our import process.

While the commencement of the Law has provided the public with more detailed tariff codes, there has also been some significant changes to the Schedule referring to duty free items:

Duty changes introduced include:

  • Import duty  will now be levied under the 2012 law on building materials and goods for the construction of churches and school buildings, which were previously  duty free  in the Second Schedule of the  Customs Tariff Law 2011;
  • Equipment and requisites for a school which has been certified by the Chief Education Officer and imported duty free will now attract the various duties depending on the duty rates within in the law.
  • All unsolicited gifts not exceeding $50 in value picked up duty-free at the Customs Parcel Post Section will now attract import duties. 
  • A reduced duty of 10 percent import duty on fully electric powered vehicles and electric motorcycles including Segways and a 15 percent import duty on hybrid vehicles and hybrid motorcycles.
  • A 22 percent duty will now apply  on Professional reference books 
  • The duty on notebook paper, composition books, specific school supplies and uniforms are now duty free under Schedule 2.
  • Fish and Crustaceans and other aquatic invertebrates such as lobster, shrimps and crab attract a duty of 17 percent from the previous 12 percent.
  • Saddlery and harness for any animal (including traces, leads, knee pads, muzzles, saddles, cloths, saddle bags, dog coats and the like), of any material attract 17 percent duty.

Another change is the introduction of a blanket fee for imported goods that attract custom inspection fees.  All loose cargo being imported through the ports and cargo in packages being imported by Air will be charged an inspection fee of “15 cents per cubic foot or part thereof”. This change was brought about by repealing Part 2 of the Schedule 6 of the 2012 law and replacing with this blanket fee.

The law has also allowed for several new tariffs to be effected for items such as Nicotine, Human Organs and Body Parts, Electronic Cigarettes, and Electric Generating Sets (wind powered).  Collector Bennett encourages  the public in general, large importers and brokers   to familiarize themselves  with the duty changes, where full details about the new Customs Tariff Law changes  can be found on  the Customs website or  by calling  949-4579.  “Being familiar with the tariff codes when filling out the documentation for import clearances, can transition the process more effectively and efficiently” Bennett stated.