Guyana waives import taxes to set up ‘natural gas’ refilling stations

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Winston Jordan, Minister of Finance

The Guyana Government in its push to prepare for an Oil and Gas sector has, as part of its incentive regime for the private sector, waived all Customs duties for machinery and equipment imported to set up refilling stations for vehicles equipped to use Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)—natural gas.

Finance Minister Winston Jordan, made the Order under the Guyana Customs Act Cap. 82:01—an Order dated Monday, December 11, 2017.

Copies of an extract of the Order placed on the Official Gazette, were circulated to Members of Parliament (MP) as they met on Wednesday to continue its consideration and voting for the country’s annual Budget for the coming year.

The Order amends the First Schedule of the Customs Act by inserting a new clause to the list of items.

According to a copy of the Extract of the Order seen by OilNOW, the amendment to the Customs Act will now allow for the exemptions on the payment of duties on “machinery and equipment, determined by the Commissioner General to set up refilling stations for vehicles principally designed to accommodate Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).”

Mr. Jordan had announced the administration’s intent to offer the incentive to the private sector in light of the trajectory with which the South American nation is heading, namely as an Oil and Gas producer in the region.

The Finance Minister had at the time of his presentation of the National Estimates (Budget) for the coming year, spoke to measures the Guyana Government intends to pursue in its bid to assist the private sector in taking advantage of the opportunities that has presented itself with the Oil and (Natural) Gas industry.

Mr. Jordan at the time signaled that the measures was also in keeping with government’s commitments to its Green State Strategy and pointed to the reduced emissions as a result of LPG use.

He recalled that “in Budget 2017, hybrid vehicles below a certain engine capacity benefitted from tax concessions, while there were no engine capacity limits for electrically powered vehicles.”

The Guyana Government is currently exploring a number of initiatives aimed at fully utilizing the available natural gas discovered in the Stabroek Block by US Oil major, Exxon Mobil.

The Guyana Power and Light (GPL) Incorporated, has already begun inviting Expressions of Interest for a 50MW natural gas powered electricity generation plant.

Mr. Jordan had announced too in his Budget presentation that effective January 1, 2018 principally designed to accommodate LPG gas, with an engine capacity not exceeding 2000 cc and not exceeding four years old from the date of manufacture to the date of importation, will be exempted from paying Excise Taxes.