TC Winston

Finance ministry approval needed for tax concession on overseas goods

The finance ministry says overseas donors who had sent goods meant for tropical cyclone Winston relief without seeking prior tax exemption can still do so after the goods have arrived in the country. Newswire received concerns from the public that some recipients had to pay customs duty and VAT on relief goods. Principal Economic Planning Officer Mr. […]

Newsroom

March 3, 2016 12:40 pm

The finance ministry says overseas donors who had sent goods meant for tropical cyclone Winston relief without seeking prior tax exemption can still do so after the goods have arrived in the country.

Newswire received concerns from the public that some recipients had to pay customs duty and VAT on relief goods.

Principal Economic Planning Officer Mr. Mohammed Jabid told Newswire that people who had already sent goods to Fiji without knowledge of the tax exemption needed to contact the ministry immediately for approval.

In the circumstance of the goods arriving in Fiji, we normally provide the approval letter immediately if you send an email to the Ministry requesting for waiver.

So if the goods are in the airport, some people have contacted me and i provided them the approval letter, allowing them to collect the goods or items.

Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority, Acting CEO Mr Visvanath Dass told Newswire all overseas donations coming through the Finance Ministry will be tax exempt.

All goods for disaster relief coming through the Ministry of Finance are tax exempt. The Ministry of Finance have the authority to give approval letters and than FRCA will facilitate.

A government statement released on February 25, 2016:

Due to the high volume of interest from overseas organisations and individuals, donors can now also request duty and VAT exemption directly from the Ministry of Finance. Items will be approved for exemption that can provide immediate relief for victims of Tropical Cyclone Winston.

In order to be approved for exemption, formal requests need to be submitted to Principal Economic Officer Mohammed Jabid via e-mail at [email protected] or via telephone (679) 932-5703.

Once an approval letter has been granted, shipments need to be addressed to:

(Name of the receipt individual or organisation) or (National Disaster Management Office)
C/ Attorney General and Minister for Finance
Ministry of Finance
The Government of Fiji
Suva

Upon shipment, donors need to provide the Airway Bill or Bill of Landing, an invoice of the value of goods being shipped and the approval letter granted by the Ministry of Finance.

Vehicles, jewellery and any normally prohibited items are not covered under this exemption.

We thank those overseas who are keen to donate relief materials to affected Fijians. The need in Fiji remains great, and the Fijian Government is working hard to meet the urgent needs of our people. Every donation makes a difference for those Fijians who have suffered from the devastation this storm has brought to our shores.

These guidelines are also available on the Fijian Government website and Facebook page.

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