A FURTHER helping hand was extended to Namibia’s farmers, who are currently struggling to cope with one of the worst droughts in the country’s history when the Minister of Finance announced Value Added Tax (VAT) relief on the import of certain products used for fodder to keep animals from starving.
In an official statement, the Minister of Finance, Calle Schlettwein, said President Hage Geingob declared the drought situation in Namibia a State of Emergency on account of the persisting national disaster of drought that exists in all regions of the country.
“Pursuant to the State of Emergency National Disaster (Drought) Declaration, the Ministry of Finance wishes to announce the following relief to farmers who import goods as specified below. This relief is granted in terms of Rebate Item 412.11 of paragraph 2(g)(i) of Schedule V of the VAT Act which provides for exemption on import of the following, ‘Goods imported for the relief of distress of persons in cases of famine or other national disaster’,” he said.
The Minister of Finance announced that the following feed will not be subject to import VAT on importation: (1) Roughage: Lucerne, grass-teff or other wheat straw, oats straw/hay, maize hay, sorghum hay and silage. (2) Energy and protein concentrates: Cotton oil, sunflower oil cake, maize chop, wheat bran, soya oil cake, full fat soya, maize meal, whole maize kernels, molasses, wheat, barley, oats, sunflower hulls, soya hulls, whole cotton seed and maize bran.
“This tax exemption only applies to individual farmers/producers (communal farmers and commercial farmers) in all regions of Namibia who directly import for own use and not for the purposes of reselling. Retailers and other entities that import these goods do not qualify for this exemption,” he explained.
Minister Schlettwein said in his statement that to qualify for the exemption, the farmer or producer should be able to provide the following: (a) Proof of registration at the Meat Board of Namibia as a farmer/producer (commercial and communal farmers) or any other legally recognised organisation.
(b) The importer should notify the Ministry of Finance about the importation at least three days before the goods reach the point of entry at the border to enable timeous customs clearance.
(c) This exemption does not apply to any capital goods imported.
The relief to struggling farmers took effect on Tuesday and will automatically lapse when the State of Emergency ceases.