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By Aabigayle McIntosh
The Antigua and Barbuda Customs and Excise Division has reported a significant financial achievement, garnering $327 million in revenue for the initial ten months of the year.
This marks a notable increase of 9.11 percent compared to the same period the previous year. The current trajectory suggests that government revenues from customs are poised to exceed $400 million for the first time in the entity’s history.
“As of October, for the first ten months, we have raked up 327 million in comparison to 300 million last year which is 27 million up that represents about a 9.11 percent increase over the last year’s last two years we made about 82 million dollars
“If we hold on to that figure of 82 million and we are already at 327 we are expected to p the 400 million make that will be another landmark in the history of customs,” Boddu said.
Boddu highlighted that the robust revenue from imports is being bolstered by an ongoing construction boom.
He pointed out that a substantial amount of revenue is generated through the importation of various building materials, underscoring the impact of the active construction sector on the overall financial performance.
“Basically, all this construction activity is because green field projects we may not get any direct revenue from that but it has a rippling effect within the economy where people tend to consume, consumption triggers imports. From that, we are getting good traction and revenue collection.
The head of the customs department is recommending that the government explore the possibility of reducing certain import taxes to enhance affordability for the general population.
Boddu explained that, under the current system, purchasers are obliged to cover expenses such as the Revenue Recovery Charge and other applicable taxes when items are shipped to Antigua and Barbuda. While suggesting the potential exemption of some taxes, he emphasized that the collection of the Antigua and Barbuda Sales Tax (ABST) would still be necessary.