Changes in Customs and Excise Duties

Each year, St Helena Government (SHG) reviews customs and excise duties to ensure that duties and exemptions are consistent with SHG’s strategic priorities. Following this review, Executive Council approved the following changes to take effect from 27 March 2020:

  • Duty on incontinence pads and post-operative care products (e.g. bandages, gauze, orthopaedic appliances, surgical belts and splints) will be reduced from 20% to 5%. This reduction will support members of the public who require these products and bring the rate of duty in line with other medical necessities
  • Arriving passengers will be given a duty free allowance of 5 kg of confectionary. This allowance will ensure arriving passengers are not subject to duty on reasonable quantities of cakes, chocolates and other confectionary brought in as gifts. Further, this change will improve the clearance process through arrivals for passengers and reduce the administrative burden on HM Customs & Excise associated with collecting duty on very small quantities of these products.  The allowance will also apply to Excise Duty
  • Duty on alcohol will increase by 2.9%, consistent with inflation
  • Duty on tobacco and tobacco products will increase by 3.9%, consistent with inflation plus 1%.

In line with the goals of the Labour Market Strategy to create a more level playing field for private sector employers, Executive Council approved a single set of customs duty exemptions for all individuals arriving to work on St Helena. This includes extending the exemption on new personal effects and household goods to all arrivals who can provide evidence that they will be working on-Island for six months or longer. Expanding this exemption ensures that both returning St Helenians and internationally-recruited workers will benefit, regardless of whether they work for SHG or a private sector employer. Similarly, individuals arriving on contract with SHG will be required to pay duty on any vehicle at the time of import rather than on sale.

In addition to the changes to duties and exemptions, Executive Council approved an extension of the time before wharfage is charged from seven to 10 days. This will benefit large importers who require additional time to clear large shipments, particularly over holiday periods.

Further, an extension of one year was agreed for the exemption of duty on diesel fuel for power generation, commercial fishing and operation of the fish processing plant.

1 April 2020

St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470