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How Fijian Duty and VAT is Calculated

By Sue Richards last modified Jun 17, 2008 09:55 AM

Published: 2008-06-17 09:55:21
Countries: Fiji

The following summarises how Duty and VAT are calculated by FIRCA (Fiji Inland Revenue and Customs Administration) if your yacht is liable for import duty. See New Rules for Yachts Visiting Fiji.

Duties will be calculated on the pro-rata value for the period the yacht will remain in Fiji. The pro-rata value of the yacht will be calculated on the value of the yacht, divided by 60 months and multiplied by the period (in months) the yacht will be in Fiji . A security for the balance of the duty liability shall be deposited with the Comptroller. Current rates of duty on yachts are 27% Fiscal, free Import Excise and 12.5% VAT.

1- The pro-rata value for Duty and VAT will be calculated from the current value of the yacht. Your estimated value can be accepted for this calculation.
Therefore: value of yacht, divided by 60, multiplied by a 4 month stay = Value For Duty (VFD). For example: F$100,000 x 4/60 = VFD

2- VFD x 27% = Fiscal duty

3- VFD + Fiscal Duty = Value for VAT x 12.5% = VAT

Based on this calculation, the total importation fee would indeed be 43%, though a yacht visiting for a few months would ultimately pay only a fraction of that. However, it appears that FIRCA demand the entire amount is lodged as a bond up-front, with the balance refunded upon the yacht's departure. There is no provision for any exemption.

Once a yacht has completed the usual clearance procedures, a licensed Customs Agent must be employed to handle the importation fees. Be warned also, that although FIRCA have stated that cruisers can use an estimated valuation from their "home" customs for the calculation, it's likely another independent survey in Fiji for valuation/comparison purposes will be required. The survey should cost approx. F$500 and the Customs Agent fee approx. F$600.

Thank you to David and Susanne Ames of SV Cheshire, for passing on this useful information. They are keen to return to Fiji having spent 4 months in Fiji last year, however in light of the new regulations have commented: "We were prepared to consider paying the pro-rated importation, if we could have used our NZ estimate of our yacht's value, as it would have been less than the cost of tickets to fly round trip from another country to Nadi. However, the possibility of having to front the entire duty amount, and in addition pay the agents' costs, make this unattractive to us. Furthermore, while we think Musket Cove is possibly the physically safest place we could leave our boat, we are concerned that the current Fiji government might suddenly promulgate more new policies even less favorable to visiting yachts. Therefore, not only will we not bring Cheshire to Fiji this year, I don't think we will return at all until we feel safe and welcome. I'm not holding my breath".