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TCI | Aug 4, 2022

Turks & Caicos waives duties on certain basic food items

/ Our Today

administrator
Erwin Saunders, deputy premier and Turks and Caicos Islands finance minister. (Photo: Facebook @TCIINTEGRITYCOMMISSION)

The Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) Government will waive the import duties and Customs Processing Fee on a wide range of food basket items for the period August 1 to November 30.

This in an attempt to curb soaring inflation in the British Overseas Territory, which is an archipelago of 40 low-lying coral islands in the Atlantic Ocean. The list of goods includes, rice, flour, chicken, fresh and canned meats, cheese, eggs, and cooking oil among others.

Globally, food commodity prices have been at or near record-high levels for months, initially fuelled by demand recovering from the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic and further boosted by the war in Ukraine, resulting in high grocery bills for households across TCI. As such, the Government has suspended the import duties on food staples in an attempt to curb soaring inflation.

Stimulus package announced

Coupled with this relief measure, the Government also recently announced a stimulus package, which makes US$12 million available for 12,000 Turks and Caicos Islanders and British Overseas Territory Citizens. To this end, a one-off payout of US$1,000 will be dispersed to each individual to assist with the increase in the cost of living.

Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance, Investment & Trade, Erwin Jay Saunders, who announced the duty waiver on the basic food items, declared that the government “is prepared to expand this list and/or the exemption period…due to the strong performance of our economy, our Government will be funding this Inflationary Stimulus Package from existing revenues.”

According to him, “we will achieve this by reducing the budgeted operating surplus from US$7 million to US$1.0 million.”

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