Government remains committed to granting duty-free concession for building materials



Basseterre, St. Kitts – Prime Minister the Honourable Dr. Timothy Harris echoed his government’s commitment to grant citizens and residents duty-free concessions to those who reported damages to their homes following the passage of hurricanes Irma and Maria in September.

Speaking at his monthly press conference Oct. 3, Prime Minister Harris updated the media and the general public on the progress to date and noted that “regarding the duty-free concessions on building materials for the victims of the hurricanes, the Ministry of Finance has reported that [more than] 300 applications have been collected and the Ministry of Finance is awaiting their return for formal processing.” 

He stated that people have been selected to assist individuals with applying for the duty-free concessions, as there might be people who are not able to do so on their own.

“Contact [people] have been identified at the Inland Revenue Department, the Accountant General Department, Customs and Excise Department, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Office of the Prime Minister to assist in completing their forms should such assistance be required by anyone,” said Harris. “So if you have the form [and] are having difficulties filling [it] in, we have set up [a] help desk and identified [people] in each of the relevant departments who will provide assistance in getting the form filled in.”

Harris said that the government is aware of the importance of its people and against this backdrop will do all in its power to ensure that they are taken care of first and foremost.

 “My government has given priority to restore our people’s lives to normalcy,” he said. “In this regard, the Ministry of Finance –  working with the Ministry of Sustainable Development – will recruit [people] on a temporary basis to help with the estimates of the repairs to correct the damage should such assistance be required. In other words, we want to put that on a fast track. And there may be elderly [people] or [people] otherwise unable to take care of the estimates and we therefore will have private parties who will be engaged by the relevant ministry to conduct this exercise with a view to fast tracking it.”

He explained that the preliminary estimates will go through a verification process by another group of government employees before the final signing off.

Application forms can be collected at the Ministry of Finance, the Treasury Department, Inland Revenue Department, NEMA, or downloaded from the Ministry of Finance’s website at