10 percent Customs levy a “non-starter”
NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The Bahamas is still very much in the game for the establishment of a viable aircraft registry, according to a well-known aviation law specialist.
However, Callenders & Co attorney LLewelyn Boyer-Cartwright warned the initiative would be a ‘non-starter’ if the 10 percent Customs levy stands.
Boyer-Cartwright, a leading advocate for the creation of an enhanced registry, said: “I would say yes we are certainly still in the game.
“I’m sure that if the government didn’t feel confident that it was a worthwhile venture they would not have gone ahead. We still are in a very unique position in which I believe that we can be competitive and distinguish ourselves from the likes of Bermuda or Cayman and offer a competitive package.”
The government has signed an agreement with Aviation Registry Group to develop The Bahamas’ registry.
Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar said last week The Bahamas is moving closer to the establishment of an aircraft registry.
“It’s taken a while to negotiate with an entity to assist us in establishing an aircraft registry,” said D’Aguilar.
“Obviously there are a number of jurisdictions in the world that have very successful aircraft registries and there are probably three companies in the world that have assisted those countries in establishing their aircraft registry.
“We had to do an RFP and then had to evaluate and then negotiate an MOU.”
He continued: “We had to get Cabinet approval and are now awaiting final approval from the office of the Attorney General. That should be forthcoming shortly. We haven’t spent dollar on it yet so we have just gone through the process of preparing ourselves.”
Boyer-Cartwright told Eyewitness News Online, “The public must be made aware that this whole project would be be a non-starter if there is a 10 percent customs duty on the importation of aircraft.
“You could just forget about an international aircraft registry that would compete with the likes of Bermuda, Cayman, Malta or Isle of Mann.”
The establishment of a Bahamian aircraft registry has been viewed as a value-added complement to this nation’s financial services industry’s high-end clients, many of whom either own or lease planes.
It also complements the shipping registry and other efforts to expand and diversify the economy.