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Thai government lifts 20% import duty on gem and jewellery for 52nd Bangkok Gems and Jewelry Fair
Says it will benefit both domestic and foreign exhibitors
By: Diamond World News Service
Jul 30 2013 7:03PM
Reference: 8037  


The Thai government announced certain tax benefits for gems and jewellery being exhibited at the 52nd Bangkok Gems and Jewelry Fair (BGJF52). Accordingly, it has lifted 20 percent tax on imported gems and jewellery products to be sold at the Fair. Foreign exhibitors will be allowed to bring in and sell gems and jewellery from other countries duty-free, while local exhibitors can reduce their selling prices after cutting down on imported parts and products’ costs.

The BJGF52, scheduled this September 6 to 10 at Bangkok’s IMPACT Exhibition and Convention Center, is expected to draw tens of thousands of buyers from all around the world.

“We are privileged to have the government working alongside us so directly,” says Somchai Phornchindarak, President of the Thai Gem and Jewelry Traders Association (TGJTA) and Chairman of the Gems, Jewelry and Precious Metal Confederation of Thailand. He said the government decision came at the heels of TGJTA’s strong advocacy for a concessional duty rate of 0 percent, and they are happy to see their requests granted. “The government has been with us every step of the way, helping to promote exports as well as developing overseas markets via trade fairs, road shows and exceptional exhibitions. All these changes predict a gleaming future for all,” added Phornchindarak.

The concession is considered as a temporary grace period (15 days before/ after the BGJF52) for everyone attending and participating in the BGJF52. Products to be covered by the measure are pearls, precious stones and metals, imitation jewelry and coins – all categories that fall under the International Trade Commission (ITC)’s Harmonized System Code, Chapter 71. Suttipong Damrongsakul, Chief Executive Officer of the BGJF Organizing Committee, said the move would significantly propel Thailand to become the “golden gateway to the gems and jewelry industry of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).”

The import duty-free incentive can only be availed of at the BGJF52 though, by exhibitors endorsed by TGJTA. Sellers who are not endorsed would still have to pay the standard 20 percent import tax. Moreover, the regular 7 percent Value Added Tax still applies to all exhibitors, local and foreign.

Another tax-free initiative the BGJF is offering is the Zero VAT Pavilion, where buyers are exempted from paying the 7 percent value-added tax imposed on rough gems and raw materials imported into Thailand for manufacturing. It’s a government-backed policy that aims to strengthen the country’s position as the “World’s Gems and Jewellery Hub” and the largest manufacturing centre for such products in the entire globe. Damrongsakul says the Zero VAT Pavilion will surely entice those looking for excellent bargains.

TGJTA also plans to introduce new features at the Fair to enhance activities like seminars, contests, trend updates, and special offers. At the 51st fair last February, BGJF introduced the Business Matching Service –a scheme that helps foreign buyers identify, locate and communicate with exhibitors long before the fair actually begins. The same met with resounding success.

At least 1,500 gem and jewellery suppliers participated in the 51st fair last February. Organizers are putting up an additional 3,500 booths this year, expecting a significant rise in exhibitors, and also number of booths the sellers will be renting.

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