Duty-Free Concessions

Background

Introduction

The Cultural Industries Development Act was proclaimed in 2015, and provides a legal framework for the development of the cultural industries sector through duty-free concessions for people with businesses in the creative sector, for “tools of trade” (i.e. materials and equipment used to create products and services).

The duty-free concessions are available once the conditions set out in the Cultural Industries Development Act, Part IV (General) or Part VIII (Audio-Visual Practitioners) are fulfilled, and approval has been granted by the Minister of Creative Economy, Culture and Sports.
IMPORTANT
Apply in advance! – The process can take several months and thus it is best to apply well in advance of the expected import time.

Not Retroactive! – The duty-free concessions are not retroactive i.e. they cannot be claimed on items already imported or on island even if they are still in the Port.

ASYCUDA is Mandatory! – All items for duty-free waivers must be listed in the online Automated SYstem for CUstoms DAta (ASYCUDA) or the duty-free concessions will not be accessible. Duty-free waivers can only be conducted using the ASYCUDA system so all shipments must be routed through a customs broker or the individual importing the equipment must have access to the ASYCUDA system themselves. Please contact the Customs & Excise department for further information on ASYCUDA.

Customs Number Needed! – You MUST have a customs number which will be entered in the ASYCUDA system. You can apply to the Customs Department for this, Click HERE for the form. [Do NOT return this form to NCF.]

Tools of the Trade ONLY! – Duty free waivers are available ONLY for tools of the trade which have been identified in the Second Schedule of the Act. Please view the Act for a list.

General Process

Step 1: Registration -The applicant must be a cultural practitioner which is defined in Part 1, Section 2 (1).

Registration on the national database (barbadosartists.bb) is mandatory for verification purposes. This registration process contains nine steps, and concludes with the issuing of a certificate.

It must be noted that registration is simply the first step of the duty free application process and does not entitle the registrant to concessions, simply to the right to apply. Once approval as a cultural practitioner is given on the artists’ registry, an automatic email is sent to the user indicating such and noting to whom the written application for duty-free concessions must be sent.

​NB. You need to collect your certificate bearing your approved registration number.

​Also note that once approved, registration does not need to be redone.

Step 2: A Cultural Project must be submitted – Duty free concessions on imports that represent tools of trade, i.e. materials and equipment used to create products and services, must be tied to a cultural project as noted in Part III and IV of the Act. A form must be filled out which stipulates all information as per Section 12 & 13 of the Act, this form is available for download HERE.

Exceptions: The process for bandleaders applying for concessions for the Crop Over festival and for persons in the Audio Visual sector is different and can be found HERE & HERE respectively.

Step 3: Invoices & Customs Documents – a detailed list of items from the suppliers / the pro-forma invoices of the purchased items, as well as documents from an authorised customs broker showing the amount of taxes to be waived, are to be submitted with the application.

Step 4: Ministerial Approval

Following the fulfillment of all conditions and submission of all documents, the applications are submitted to the Ministry of Creative Economy, Culture and Sport for ratification.

Step 5: License Granted

Once ratified, a Licence is issued to the applicant as per Section 19 of the Act.

Step 6: Waiver Granted

The license, accompanied by the previously submitted list of items to be waived, is then forwarded to Customs to designate the individual or entity as being approved to receive duty-free concessions on these particular items.

Process for Bandleaders

Step 1: Registration -The applicant must be a cultural practitioner which is defined in Part 1, Section 2 (1).

Registration on the national database (barbadosartists.bb) is mandatory for verification purposes. This registration process contains nine steps, and concludes with the issuing of a certificate.

It must be noted that registration is simply the first step of the duty free application process and does not entitle the registrant to concessions, simply to the right to apply. Once approval as a cultural practitioner is given on the artists’ registry, an automatic email is sent to the user indicating such and noting to whom the written application for duty-free concessions must be sent.

​NB. You need to collect your certificate bearing your approved registration number.

​Also note that once approved, registration does not need to be redone.

​Step 2: Submit a Letter, Invoices/Broker Documents & Customs Number

A letter requesting the incentives must be submitted – a template can be found HERE

Submit a detailed list of items from the suppliers: either a quotation of items to be purchased or the pro-forma invoices of the purchased items

Submit documents from an authorised customs broker showing the amount of taxes to be waived.

Submit your customs number (number issued to you or your company for shipping purposes by the Customs Department).

Step 3: Ministerial Approval

Following the fulfillment of all conditions and submission of all documents, the applications are submitted to the Ministry of Creative Economy, Culture and Sport for ratification.

Step 4: License Granted

Once ratified, a Licence is issued to the applicant as per Section 19 of the Act.

Step 5: Waiver Granted

The license, accompanied by the previously submitted list of items to be waived, is then forwarded to Customs to designate the individual or entity as being approved to receive duty-free concessions on these particular items.

Process for Audio Visual Practitioners

Step 1: Registration -The applicant must be a cultural practitioner which is defined in Part 1, Section 2 (1).

Registration on the national database (barbadosartists.bb) is mandatory for verification purposes. This registration process contains nine steps, and concludes with the issuing of a certificate.

It must be noted that registration is simply the first step of the duty free application process and does not entitle the registrant to concessions, simply to the right to apply. Once approval as a cultural practitioner is given on the artists’ registry, an automatic email is sent to the user indicating such and noting to whom the written application for duty-free concessions must be sent.

​NB. You need to collect your certificate bearing your approved registration number.

​Also note that once approved, registration does not need to be redone.

​Step 2: NCF Approval Stamp

Bring your invoices to the NCF for us to verify the items as being Tools of the Trade (as noted in the Second Schedule of the Act) and to be stamped as approved.

​Step 3: Submission to Customs

Submit the following to the Customs Comptroller:

a copy of your approved cultural practitioner certificate from step 1

the stamped invoices that you acquired in Step 2

​Step 4: ASYCUDA Entries

Once approved by the Comptroller, you and/or your broker are issued with a code to enter in the ASYCUDA system to mark the items as being under the terms of the Cultural Industries Development Act and you can now clear your items duty-free.



Contact us

The National Cultural Foundation
West Terrace,
St. James, Barbados
246-417-6610