Government revises scheme to assist agriculture, fisheries projects

The Government has expanded a scheme to include "agricultural and fisheries development projects” as part of its coronavirus (COVID-19) stimulus package, opening the door for local businesses to consider investing.

Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour (M.C.I.L.), Pulotu Lyndon Chu Ling, advised in a public notice that the amending of the Government’s Code 121 Assistance Scheme will ensure imported materials required for agricultural or fisheries development projects are exempted from paying duty.

“The expansion (of the scheme) will only be available during the period of the stimulus package from April to October 2020 and will include all equipment and inputs required for the approved development projects,” reads the M.C.I.L. notice.

The notice put out by the Ministry emphasised that the following existing sectors are eligible under the scheme and are encouraged to apply: commercial manufacturers of agricultural products for export and import substitution; commercial poultry farmers; commercial manufacturers of handicrafts; and commercial elei and garment manufacturers.

The requirements of eligibility for assistance under the Code 121 Scheme states that interested businesses should submit a written application to the M.C.I.L.

The applications must satisfy the following criteria: holder of a valid or current business license; attaches list of imported goods intended to be duty exempted under Code 121 with import documents. 

All applications must be submitted in the first instance to the M.C.I.L. for preliminary assessment of the business' eligibility, before referral is made by the Ministry to the Ministry of Customs and Revenue (M.C.R.) for their assessment of the list of imported goods for duty exemption. 

Application forms and guidelines for the CODE 121 Scheme is available on Ministry's website www.mcil.gov.ws or from MCIL (IDIP Division), 4th floor, ACC Building, Apia. 

There is a separate application form for the additional sector of 'Agricultural and Fisheries Development Projects and is also available on our website or at our office. 

For further information please contact Ms Jacinta Matulino ACEO-IDIP ([email protected]) or Lisi Iosefa ([email protected]) on telephone numbers 20441 or 28096.

The assistance given under the Code 121 Assistance Scheme is mainly for the reduction of Import Duty from 8 per cent to 0 for imported raw and other particular materials from overseas suppliers for use by businesses approved under the Customs Tariff Amendment Act 2008.

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