1. Items that are imported and landed in Jamaica prior to the final “Status” designation being awarded to your company, will not be covered by the tourism fiscal incentives, as the benefits cannot be applied retroactively. Where goods are imported prior to the grant of the attraction status, you will be required to pay all the applicable border taxes.
2. The relief is subject to the proviso that imported items are not available in adequate supplies from a local manufacturer or from a manufacturer within the CARICOM Common Market area or are not otherwise prohibited from benefitting from this relief.
3. Companies should note that the PIR only covers the import duties and the Additional Stamp Duty. Companies from the tourism sector are required to pay all other port charges and fees. Key among those are the:
- Corporate Income Tax Liability Reduction, under the Fiscal Incentives Act (FIA) allows companies to access these benefits:
- Employment Tax Credit (ETC) provides a tax credit amounting to a maximum of 30% of the accumulated employer’s portion of the statutory deductions for both new and existing employees. This can effectively reduce the Corporate Income Tax (CIT) rate to as low as 17.5%
- Capital Allowance reduces the proportion of company’s income against which the corporate income tax will be charged. Provides for an initial 20% allowance on capital expenditure related to construction, alteration and renovation of industrial buildings, and covers a broadened definition of ‘industrial buildings’
- Reduced GCT rate of 10% will be paid by hotels that operate under the Omnibus Incentives framework.
- Duty-free Importation of Equipment and Machinery, as well as revised tariff rates ranging from 0% to no higher than 20% (with some exceptions). Relief from income tax to certain overseas lenders who fund licensed hotel and resort cottage operations is also provided.
- Tax credit scheme which provides for an improved and more attractive rate for the Employers' Tax Credit (ETC) system.
- Customs Administration Fee (CAF): is a schedule of applicable fees based on the item being imported
- Value Added Tax (General Consumption Tax (GCT)): the tax varies between two rates, i.e. 16.5% or 21.5% (For hotels that operate under the Omnibus, GCT rate is 10%)
- Standards Compliance Fee (SCF): 0.3% of the CIF value of the imported item
- Environmental Levy: 0.5% of the CIF value of the imported item
- Special Consumption Tax (SCT): Applied to few items including alcoholic beverages, most tobacco products and some petroleum products
4. Some items are exempted from the PIR, i.e. goods listed in Part I of the Fourth Schedule of the Customs Tariff (Revision) (Amendment) Resolution 2013 and goods that the Commissioner of Customs is satisfied can be obtained in adequate supplies from a local manufacturer or from within CARICOM. This list of ineligible goods is not exhaustive, and a complete listing can be found in the Customs Tariff.
5. It is recommended that taxpayers contact a licensed Customs Broker to assist with information for items being imported for use in the tourism industry.
6. An entity related to the creative industries and tourism sectors, which continues to benefit under a repealed incentive law (“continuing beneficiary”) cannot simultaneously enjoy the terms and conditions under the Omnibus incentives scheme. In order to receive the new tax incentive credits and other benefits under the reformed incentive regime, the “continuing beneficiary” must first elect to give up their current entitlements.
For more information, contact MOT at email@example.com or 1 (876) 920-4926/30