The government will extend its reduced 15 percent import duty on building materials imported to Grand Cayman through Dec. 31, 2019.

Government defines building materials as “all physical components and substances, whether solid or liquid, used in the construction, renovation or restoration and forming a permanent part, of any building or related structure.” Items such as furniture, accessories, electronics and appliances are specifically excluded from the 15 percent concessionary rate.

Other duty concessions are in place until at least Dec. 31, 2020, including the 100 percent duty waiver on building materials imported to the Sister Islands, the 100 percent stamp duty waiver for land purchases on Cayman Brac, and the concessionary duty rate of 12.5 cents per gallon on the importation of motor gasoline to the Brac – the usual rate is 75 cents per gallon.

Imports boom

The duty concessions are being extended as Cayman undergoes a boom in the value of goods being imported.

According to the latest data from the Economics and Statistics Office, the total value of the Cayman Islands’ importation of merchandise goods stood at $254 million for the second quarter of 2018, an increase of $33.47 million over the comparative period in 2017. This growth rate is the highest second-quarter growth since 2005. The value of imported building materials has increased on average by 9.7 percent per year between 2011 and 2016, according to Finance Minister Roy McTaggart.

Government’s tax breaks have been in place since at least 2010. Government has typically extended the duty concession on building materials imported to Grand Cayman every six months to one year during that period. The Brac import duty waivers were given a five-year extension in December 2015.

“The Government is committed to ensuring that the Islands’ economy continues to grow, because such growth will provide employment opportunities for Caymanians and other residents,” Mr. McTaggart said of the latest extension. “The extension of the 15% import duty concessionary rate on building materials brought to Grand Cayman will undoubtedly add incentive for the private sector’s robust investments in the Cayman Islands to continue.”

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