Special Economic Recovery Zone Order (SERZ)

Posted on: September 4, 2019

TAX WAIVERS FOR HURRICANE RELIEF SUPPLIES
under the Hurricane Dorian Special Economic Recovery Zone (SERZ) Order of December 4, 2019.

Please note, this Disaster Reconstruction Authority “Special Economic Recovery Zone (SERZ) Relief” Order, 2019, will provide tax waivers until the end of the current fiscal year, June 30, 2020. 

VAT-Free Recovery Zones

Under the SERZ Order, the Islands of Abaco, the Abaco Cays, Grand Bahama Island, Sweetings Cay, Deep Water Cay and Water Cay are considered VAT-free zones for the local purchase of goods. In these disaster recovery areas, VAT-registered businesses are expected to waive VAT for all approved goods at the point of sale. For consumers, there is no pre-approval process; everyone shopping inside the recovery area is able to benefit from the VAT waiver at the point of sale. 

Tax-Free Cargo Imports Directly into the Recovery Areas

Under the SERZ Order, hurricane relief supplies can also be imported directly to the specified islands tax-free based on the conditions outlined in the Order. Unlike in previous orders, these benefits will not be available to businesses outside of the recovery areas or for cargo imported into ports of entry outside of the recovery areas. Pre-approval from the Ministry of Finance/Department of Inland Revenue is required to benefit from these tax concessions.

APPROVAL PROCESS

  1. Complete Tax Relief Consolidated Form
  2. Submit for Pre-Approval to the Department of Inland Revenue or the Ministry of Finance for review at least two days in advance (Submit in-person or via email to: patricialewisdeane@bahamas.gov.bs or medinataylor@bahamas.gov.bs)
  3. Present certified form to Customs at Port of Entry with the relevant Customs Declaration Forms for on-site clearance and approval inside the recovery areas

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

Individuals and businesses are eligible to import tax-free goods under the SERZ Order under the following three conditions:

  1. The applicant is a business or resident of an approved island
  2. Cargo is imported directly to an approved island
  3. Imported goods fall under the approved list of items

APPROVED ISLANDS

The final destination for all donated goods must be an approved island.

  • Abaco
  • The Abaco Cays
  • Grand Bahama Islands
  • Sweetings Cay
  • Deep Water Cay
  • Water Cay

APPROVED GOODS

The following items are listed in SERZ Order  and considered approved goods.

 

  • Air Conditioning Units
  • Building Materials
  • Cleaning Supplies
  • Clothes, Shoes, Hat, Belt, Socks, Stockings, Gloves, Scarves
  • Cots
  • Beds & Bedding Materials
  • Electrical fixtures and materials
  • Electrical generators
  • Fishing Equipment & Supplies
  • Farming/Fishing Equipment & Supplies
  • Fruit & Vegetable Juice
  • Hardware Supplies
  • Household furniture, furnishings and appliances
  • Landscaping Supplies
  • Manufacturing equipment

 

*Subject to additional conditions and requirements

 

  • Medicine and Medical Supplies
  • Mosquito Netting
  • Office Supplies & Equipment
  • Personal Hygiene Products
  • Pest Control Supplies
  • Plumbing fixtures and materials
  • Protective & Safety Gear
  • Replacement Boats
  • Replacement Boat Engines
  • Replacement Motor Vehicles, Golf Carts and Motorcycles*
  • Solar Panels
  • Tents
  • Unprepared food items of all types (including packaged and processed)
  • Water

     

 

NEED HELP?

The Customs Department, Ministry of Finance, and Department of Inland Revenue have dedicated officers to support individuals and businesses importing tax-free goods under the Exigency Order

Customs

Ministry of Finance – Revenue Department

Department of Inland Revenue

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