The Ministry of Finance (MOF) announced yesterday that Cabinet approved the expansion of the Special Economic Recovery Zone (SERZ) Extension Order for the islands of Grand Bahama and the Abacos, to include construction services into the end of June this year.
Minister of State for Finance Kwasi Thompson said in a press statement released by the MOF that the zero-rating of construction services for Grand Bahama and Abaco is important for the continued recovery process of those islands.
“Construction activities remain a critical item for the recovery process,” Thompson said.
“The SERZ Extension Order approved in December provided tax relief on the local sale and importation of construction supplies.
“The latest amendment order allows for the zero-rating of construction services, which will render these activities VAT free within the zone until June 30, 2021.”
According to the statement, this latest provision requires that those construction services be invoiced before June 30 and paid in full by September 31, 2021.
The statement also explained that the Cabinet has also extended the allowance for the import of VAT-free vehicles to the end of this month.
“Replacement vehicles must be purchased and shipped prior to January 31, 2021, representing a one-month extension and arrive in The Bahamas by April 30, 2021,” the statement noted.
These latest pronouncements are extensions of special allowances given to Grand Bahama and Abaco in the wake of the devastating Hurricane Dorian in September 2019, which was exacerbated by the onset of COVID-19 last year.
“The government is listening and responding to the needs of the people,” said Thompson.
“The road to recovery is not an easy one for residents in the islands devastated by Hurricane Dorian and we are doing everything we can to provide support where we can.”