Namibia: Some Tax Relief for Drought-Hit Farmers

Windhoek — In light of the severe drought the Ministry of Finance on Tuesday announced that it will exempt farmers who import certain products for the relief of distress of persons in cases of famine or other disaster, from paying tax on the imports.

Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein, in a media statement issued yesterday, said the decision was pursuant to the drought state of emergency declared by President Hage Geingob in May this year.

He said feeds such as lucerne, or other wheat straws, oats straw/hay, maize hay, sorghum hay and silage will not be subjected to import value-added tax on importation.

Other products exempted, he said, are cotton oil cake, sunflowers oil cake, maize chop, wheat bran, soya oil cake, full fat soya, maize meal, whole maize kernels, molasses, wheat, barley, oats, sunflower hulls, soya hulls, whole cotton seed and maize bran.

He said the tax exemption only applies to individuals, farmers/producers, commercial and communal farmers in all regions who directly import for own use and not for purposes of reselling.

"Retailers and other entities that import these goods do not qualify for this exemption," he said.

To qualify, Schlettwein said, farmers should provide proof of registration as farmers registered with the Meat Board of Namibia or any other legally recognised registration.

Also, he said, importers should notify the ministry about the importation at least three days before the goods reach the point of entry at the border to enable timeous custom clearance.

He noted that the exemption does not apply to any capital goods imported. Schlettwein said the relief takes effect as of Tuesday and lapses when the state of emergency ceases.

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