The government is extending the Christmas Barrel Initiative by one week to accommodate barrels which arrived in the country on time, but are yet to be processed by the Customs and Excise Division. The highly anticipated incentive usually takes effect from December 1 until January 4.
General Manager of the Antigua Port Authority, Darwin Telemaque, said the decision to extend the period was taken following consultation with Comptroller of Customs Raju Boddu. Speaking on Pointe FM radio station on the weekend, Telemaque revealed that there were some difficulties with “unstuffing” at the Port and they are trying to facilitate people who were unable to collect their barrels.
The programme, which allows householders to import restricted quantities of food, clothing, and toiletries, is intended to provide a temporary benefit to individuals and families receiving the three categories of items from abroad over the Christmas period. Under the initiative, residents are allowed to import the items in their barrels or other containers and only one barrel/container is allowed per family.
Families are only required to pay the 10 per cent Revenue Recovery Charge (RRC) on the value of the goods, along with a $10 processing/handling fee. They are also exempted from the payment of import duty and the 15 per cent Antigua and Barbuda Sales Tax (ABST).