25 Nov 2005

Cooks to abolish selected import levies

10:14 am on 25 November 2005

The Cook Islands government has announced that it will abolish some import levies from July 1st next year.

The Cook islands News reports that the total value of levies removed is estimated to be worth just over US$3 million a year.

About 70 per cent of import levies comes from "the big four"- cigarettes, fuel, motor vehicles and alcohol.

Levies and local production duties will remain on those four items.

Import levies comprise just over 20 per cent of the Crown's income.

The newspaper says it's now thought that Crown income is at a level that can accommodate repeal of levies, although it notes that the Acting minister of finance and customs, Tangata Vavia, had warned that a government spending reduction might still be required as a result of the abolition.