The Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry has a number of objectives geared toward the betterment of its members. These include:
Be an organisation that has a loyal and satisfied membership base from all sectors of the economy, while providing value-added services and significant benefits.
Enhance the social development of Barbadian communities.
Be the top-of-mind source for local business (trade and industry) information.
Facilitate a more enabling business environment in Barbados and the CARICOM Single Market to help local businesses prosper and grow.
- Participate in policy development and implementation that enhances economic development in Barbados.
In addition to the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s core duties, the BCCI also has lead responsibility for the following:
The Management of the Duty Free Scheme
The Duty Free operation at the Grantley Adams International Airport
The Certification of Letters of Integrity.
The Certification of letters of Authenticity
The Issuance of Certificates of Origin
The Certification of Tenders
DUTY FREE SCHEME
The Duty Free Scheme was set up to benefit both retailers in and visitors to Barbados. The system was established in 1959 and has been one of the major incentives that has encouraged shopping among visitors. Moreover investment from local and international firms in the trade has been boyant. Businesses that set up as a duty free entity can benefit from offering their goods at duty free prices to visitors to the island, and this has been a key advantage in influencing visitors in choosing Barbados as a vacation destination.
Under the scheme retailers are granted a licence to operate by the Customs and Excise Depatment and benefit from the importation of goods duty free, in addition furniture,fixtures and fittings for outfitting their shops can be imported at reduced rates of duty. The Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry is responsible for the management and oversight of the scheme with the Duty Free Facility at the Grantley Adams International Airport functioning as the warehouse for items (spirits, wine, tobacco, cigarettes,cigars, home computers, electronics items) bought by visitors to the island. The purchases are sent to the Chamber's Facility at the Grantley Adams International Airport and passengers would then have to collect their packages prior to boarding their flights for departure.
The Chamber has a Duty Free Committee which interfaces with the Customs Department to formalise the guidelines for acceptance of new entrants. However, given the provisions that were introduced in the Government's 2008 Budgetary Proposals, both the Chamber and the Customs Department are working towards a harmonised process for integrating existing operators and new entrants into the trade. The Duty Free Committee is now working with one of the Chamber's other comittees, the Bridgetown Revitalization Committee to create a "Bridgetown Brand" - a must see, must do by visitors.
This initiative will not only improve the ambience in Bridgetown but will also lead to the introduction of new businesses including well-known brands and high end merchandise. Both large and smaller businesses such as the Duty Free Caribbean Group have deployed entire subsidiaries such as Cave Shepherd & Co. Ltd. because of the benefits accrued from the programme. Benefits from the scheme have spurred new investment in Barbados leading to an increased volume of duty free shopping.