ANY products bought online or across the border will cost ten percent more in a historic measure announced today by the Chief Minister.
A ten percent flat rate on all personal imports will apply to all products bought online and brought across border checkpoints on everything other than food.
It is part of a package of measures to push Gibraltarians to ‘buy local’ and will apply from July 2.
Although this could be another unpopular decision, the charge on shopping abroad has long been a demand of small businesses.
“People are reminded that they should declare their dutiable goods to HM Customs Officers as they cross the border,” said the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo.
“This is not a voluntary duty but something that will be strictly enforced.
“In respect of fuel, building materials, tobacco and wines, spirits and malts, and disposable single use products such as plastic plates and straws the existing regime will continue.”
At the same time, those same businesses will not have to pay duty on the goods they import from July until September.
Picardo added: “We expect our local traders to pass on this benefit to our consumers to ensure that this measure increases sales and stimulates economic activity in Gibraltar.”
Import duty on commercial imports has not been charged since the start of the COVID-19 crisis in April while businesses will also get government help.
To boost car sales, import duties on motor vehicles are being kept at zero throughout July.
Import duty on motor vehicles will return to the levels charged in March before the COVID-19 crisis.
The new measures were communicated to business groups by Minister for Commerce Vijay Daryanani today.
Julian Byrne, Gibraltar Federation of Small Businesses president welcomed the new measures.
“It’s good for local retailers and will help encourage local shopping as long as the savings are passed on to the consumer,” Byrne exclusively told The Olive Press.
The Chief Minister has predicted that the economic recession is about to hit the Rock with the COVID-19 pandemic stopping the flow of tourists.
UPDATE: The GFSB and Chamber of Commerce have also managed to negotiate a three hour free parking with the Gibraltar Government.
“This will enable people to go to town to eat, have a coffee and do their shopping in a hassle free manner whilst also enabling them to take their purchases home with them more easily,” both groups said on July 2.