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Understanding The Exigency Order: Tax Relief on the Import of Hurricane Relief Supplies

How individuals and organizations can utilize the exigency order to provide tax relief on the import of hurricane relief supplies

The Exigency Order means that individuals who are directly impacted by the Hurricane in the affected areas can import approved goods duty free and VAT free. It also means that private individuals and organizations who are making charitable donations can import approved goods into the country duty free and VAT free.

The public should be aware the following:

  1. The tax breaks under the Exigency Order only apply to the following approved islands: Abaco and the Abaco Cays, Grand Bahama Island, Sweetings Cay, Deep Water Cay and Water Cay.
  2. For the next 30 days, bottled water, clothing, food for personal consumption and personal hygiene products will be duty free and VAT free for individuals and businesses importing these items as donations to registered charities.
  3. For the next 90 days, medicine and medical supplies, building materials, tents, cots, bedding materials, mosquito nettings, electrical and plumbing fixtures and materials, household furniture, furnishings and appliances, and electrical generators will be duty free and VAT free for individuals and businesses importing these items as donations to registered charities.
  4. A number of fees will be waived for three-months for non-commercial flights bringing in relief goods in the affect islands, including departure tax, customs processing fees and environmental levy fees.
  5. There may be a need for items that are not on the approved list. Application may be made to the Ministry of Finance for review to import the same.

Note: The Grand Bahama Disaster Relief Foundation is a registered charity, that is an approved charity/non-profit, created by the Grand Bahama Port Authority to provide for relief efforts for Grand Bahamians effected by Hurricane Dorian.

The Exigency Order is also for Businesses and Charities

“The Exigency Order is not exclusive to charities. All Individuals and businesses can apply to import tax-free goods under the Exigency Order. However, all goods imported under the Exigency Order must be used for charitable purposes by registered charities.”

Mrs. Marche said individuals and businesses are eligible to import tax-free goods under the Exigency Order under the following three conditions:

  1. Imported goods fall under the approved list of items
  2. The final destination of the imported goods is an approved island:
    • Abaco and the Abaco Cays
    • Grand Bahama Island
    • Sweetings Cay
    • Deep Water Cay
    • Water Cay
  3. Imported goods will be used for:
    • charitable purposes to support restoration activities directly related to Hurricane Dorian
    • by individuals who have directly suffered hardship or loss as a result of Hurricane Dorian.

Click here for a copy of the Exigency Order and other government forms.