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BIPA to waive N$275 million in penalties

BIPA to waive N$275 million in penalties

Business Reporter

THE Namibian Government through the Business and Intellectual Property Authority (BIPA) announced the launch of the Annual Duty Penalty Waiver Programme, effective from 15 November 2023 until 31 March 2024.

This programme will see the writing off of penalties accrued by businesses who failed to pay their annual duty payments.

According to the Minister of Trade and Industrialisation, Lucia Iipumbu, according to BIPA’s records, non-complaint businesses have collectively accumulated a total of approximately N$275 million in penalties for the period 2012 to 2022. This is the sum that could potentially be waived if all non-compliant registered businesses opt to participate in the programme.

PICTURED: Minister of Trade and Industrialisation, Lucia Iipumbu. Photo: File

“Over the years, BIPA has been faced with the challenge of collecting legacy annual duties and associated penalties. It has also been observed that business owners’ resort to registering new entities as opposed to paying for their outstanding annual duties. This practice, I am informed has resulted in hundreds of dormant businesses on the register and inaccurate data pertaining to the number of registered entities in Namibia. The programme, it is hoped will not only provide relief to businesses but also provide an opportunity for them to start on a clean slate and ensure compliance going forward,” Iipumbu said.

She added that the waiver period covers the years 2012 up to 2022, hence our entrepreneurs are urged to make use of this opportunity and obtain more information from BIPA in this regard. The minister added that the relief comes at an opportune time if one considers the economic hardships that entrepreneurs have and continue to endure firstly due to the global economic downturn which was further exacerbated by the outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Entrepreneurs in all 14 Regions are urged to make use of this relief accorded to them and avoid last minute applications.

“We are cognizant of the fact that BIPA does not have offices in all the 14 Regions, therefore, entrepreneurs are encouraged to request information through the Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade Regional Offices,” Iipumbu concluded.

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