With the support of the government, the Senate voted on Monday for an exemption from taxes on products sold to tourists in the port cities of Guadeloupe and Martinique. This experiment, scheduled to last four years, aims to strengthen the region’s competitiveness.
Unlike air travel, stopovers planned during sea cruises are often an opportunity to see the country. But also to shop inexpensively, taking advantage of tax-free areas, the famous “duty free”. And thanks to a Senate vote on Monday during the examination of the draft budget for 2020, the French West Indies could well have theirs.
With the support of the government, the senators have indeed given the green light to an experiment with a tax-free sales regime for tourists on cruises in the West Indian region. If the measure is adopted, stores in the port cities of Guadeloupe and Martinique will be able to sell to newly disembarked tourists products exempt from VAT, excise duties and sea dues.
Develop the local economy
This device, planned to be tested for four years, has been requested “for a long time by local actors”, declared Dominique Théophile (LREM), one of the promoters of the text, arguing that “in other Caribbean States , total tax exemption is almost always the rule ”.
“This device will help develop the local economy while providing a response to improving the reception of cruise passengers in Pointe-à-Pitre and Fort-de-France, which today remains insufficient”, said – he also congratulated in a joint press release with Olivier Serva, LREM deputy of Guadeloupe.
For his part, the general rapporteur Albéric de Montgolfier (LR) judged the idea “very clearly attractive”, but gave an unfavorable opinion, believing that it deserved to be reworked. The device will result in “a loss of revenue for communities”, he warned, also warning against “the risk of fraud”.
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