VAT relief for drought-stricken Namibian farmers

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Timo Shihepo

Windhoek - The Namibian government has given relief to some of the drought-stricken farmers by giving tax exemptions to farmers, who have intentions of importing feeds into the country.

Namibia is facing one of the worst droughts ever with the government having declared a state of emergency on account of the persisting national disaster of drought that exists in all the regions of the country.

Pursuant to the state of emergency national disaster (drought) declaration, the Finance Ministry this week announced the relief to farmers who import goods.  

The feed that won’t be subjected to import value added tax on importation are those that are found under roughage, and under energy and protein concentrates.

Under roughage, feed that won’t be taxed are lucerne, grass-teff or other wheat straw, oats straw/hay, maize hay, sorghum hay, and silage.  Under the energy and protein concentration, feed that won’t be subjected to value added tax are cotton oil cake, sunflowers oil cake, maize chop, wheat bran, soya oil cake, full fate soya, maize meal, whole maize kernels, molasses, wheat, barley, oats, sunflower hulls, soya hulls, whole cotton seed, and maize bran.

“The relief is granted in terms of rebate of the VAT Act, which provides for exemption on import of the following: Goods imported for the relief of distress of persons in cases of famine or other national disaster,” said Finance Minister, Calle Schlettwein.

The ministry said tax exemption only applies to individual farmers or producers (communal farmers and commercial farmers) in all regions of Namibia who directly import for own use and not for the purpose of re-selling.

“Retailers and other entities that import those goods do not qualify for this exemption,” said Schlettwein.

 The Finance Ministry said there are two criteria that the farmers or producers should meet for them to qualify.

The first one is proof of registration at the Meat Board of Namibia as a farmer or producer (commercial farmer or communal farmers) registered with the Meat Board or any other legally recognized registration.

The second requirement is that the importer should notify the Finance Ministry about the importation at least three days before the goods reach the point of entry at the border to enable timeous customs clearance. 

 

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