Dominicans who are expecting to receive barrels from relatives overseas this Christmas will pay less for them when they are collected at the port.

Effective Thursday custom import duty and service charges on barrels will be removed, according to Ports Minister Rayburn Blackmoore.

The measure will remain in place until January 9, 2013.

However Blackmore made it clear that the programme is for items that are for personal use only. “To qualify for this concession the barrels must be valued at $1,500 and the items in the barrels must be for personal use and should not be for commercial purposes,” he said.

He said the contents which will be allowed are mainly food items, limited items of clothing and toys and each person is allowed to clear only two barrels under the programme.

“Persons are expected to pay a flat rate of $10.00 for both barrels; however, persons will be expected to pay the VAT,” he said.

The minister went on to explain the definition of a barrel in order to avoid confusion on the port. “For the purpose of the exercise it can be a box, a drum, a package and a barrel and should not exceed EC$1,500,” he reiterated.