IMPORT DUTIES: What goes up and down

Unless otherwise mentioned, the following import duty changes have already taken effect.


In his lengthy Budget speech, the chief Minister Fabian Picardo said: In recognition of our commitment to make Gibraltar as environmentally sustainable as possible, reduce our impact on the planet and improve quality of life for all, last year the Government last year increased import duty on disposable plastic products such as plastic straws, plates, cups, disposable plastic bags and sacks to 200%. Continuing with that pledge this year, and to encourage less usage of plastic bags and bottles, the import duty on all cotton bags and aluminium bottles will be reduced to 0%. 

This year, the Government is introducing amendments to the Imports and Exports (Control) Regulations to restrict and prohibit the importation of certain single use plastic products into Gibraltar. In line with last year's increases, all single use plastic items not covered by the amended Regulations will now be subject to an import duty of 200%.

Oral and dental hygiene preparations:

In last year’s budget the import duty on all instruments and appliances used in medical, surgical, dental and veterinary sciences were reduced to 0%. This year, as part of my government‘s continued initiative to ensure the affordability of preparations for oral and dental hygiene for all members of the community, these will be reduced to 3%.

Toothbrushes will also be reduced from 12 % to 3%.

Tobacco import duty

As part of my governments continuing efforts to curb the health problems arising from smoking as well as our commitment to tackle all illicit tobacco smuggling, and after consultation with the Collector of Customs, the following increases of import duty have been introduced:

• Import duty per carton of 200 cigarettes will be increased by 50p to £14.50 per carton.

• Import duty on rolling tobacco will be increased by £5 per kilo to £65 per kilo.

Fuel Duties

This government is committed to the protection of the environment and will always ensure that environmental issues stay at the top of our agenda. In the 2018 budget, the Government significantly increased the import duty on diesel and motor spirits.

. Accordingly this year the Government will increase import duty by 3 pence per litre across the board as follows:

• Unleaded 95 from 35p per litre to 38p per litre.

• Unleaded 98 from 34p per litre to 37p per litre.

• Diesel from 37p per litre to 40p per litre.

• Diesel Premium from 34p per litre to 37p per litre.

The Stimulation of Renewable Energy

In light of the Government’s policy of encouraging the use of renewable energy sources, the import duty on solar panels was reduced to 0%. To ensure their upkeep and maintenance, the import duty on parts and accessories including batteries for the exclusive use of solar panels is reduced to 0%.

High Street Competitiveness

As part of our continued initiative to promote the competitiveness of local businesses, and in keeping with representations received from traders and the Chamber and Federation, commercial importations of the following goods will be reduced to 3%:

• Household vacuum cleaners.

• Household sewing machines.

• Electric toothbrushes.

• Electric shavers.

• Hair clippers.

• Hair removing appliances.

• Chargers used with telecommunication apparatus and automatic data machines such as mobile phone chargers.

• Table, floor, wall, window, ceiling or roof fans with an output not exceeding 125W.

• Furthermore, the import duty on musical and camera cases is reduced to 0%.

Moneyval Measures

This year the Government embarked on the Moneyval evaluation process that assessed Gibraltar’s compliance with the principal international standards to counter money laundering, terrorism financing and the financing of proliferation. In preparation for this, the Government completed a number of National Risk Assessments, and as a result, the Government is introducing the following changes to import duty in order to mitigate some of the identified risk areas:

• Unmounted Precious Stones

Import duty on private importations of unmounted precious stones will be raised from 0% to 12%. However, commercial importations of precious stones by holders of a Business License shall remain free of import duty.

• Works of Art and Collectors Pieces

Import duty on private importations of works of art and collector’s pieces of a value over £1,000 will be increased from 0% to 3%.

The main practical effect behind both of these changes is that by introducing a duty rate, Customs are able to scrutinise and in future quantify importations of these items.

Licence fees

HM Customs are tasked with controlling all imports and exports including restricted items which requires the processing of a large number of licences daily. This work takes up a great amount of time and resources and as such, on the advice of the Collector of Customs, the Government will introduce a minor £10 administration fee, coming into effect on the 1st September 2019, on the following:

All Import licenses including temporary imports, importations of specialised equipment as well as imports and transfers of vessels and caravans.

All T1 Transit permits.

All Export licenses.

Due to the workload generated by vehicle importations made by persons recruited by or on behalf of the Government on contract terms, at the request of the Collector of Customs, all such importations shall carry a £50 administration fee.

Tobacco Fees

Last year the government substantially increased the fees for the issuing and renewal of tobacco licences. We will be continuing the trend this year by introducing the following fees for a wholesale tobacco licence by way of ship chandlery:

Issue of a wholesale license by ship chandlery: £10,000.

Renewal of a wholesale license by way of ship chandlery: £5,000.