Ground transportation operators in the Jamaica tourism industry, including tour operators, have been given an incentive to diversify, upgrade and refresh their fleets with Cabinet-approving amendments to the Customs Tariff Regime.
Making the announcement as he opened the 2017 Sectoral Debate in Parliament yesterday, April 4, Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, said the amendments were indicative of the bold steps being taken by the ministry “to ensure that players within this sub-sector also reap the many benefits of tourism’s success.”
The move is in recognition of growth in various sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture and transportation, being driven by the enhanced linkages with the tourism sector.
Minister Bartlett disclosed that “the new framework would see an increase in the upper CIF value on motor vehicles for car rental and contract carriage operators to US$41,000 with full duties payable on the first dollar in excess of that amount.” However, there will be no change to the current cc rate restrictions on those operators.
Additionally, in what is termed the new Productive Inputs Relief facility, the Tourism Minister said the framework will see an increase in the upper CIF value allowed for motor vehicles to US$50,000 for tour operators. Other benefits of this facility for tour operators include the removal of the cc rate restrictions on imported motor vehicles and an increase of 20 additional vehicles.
“This is a game changer as it will allow transportation operators to buy not just more vehicles but bigger and better vehicles,” the Minister said, noting that, “the tour operators have been clamoring for this for years, and we have delivered.”
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