Come April 1, Barbadians who will be resettling after spending at least 10 years abroad, will be able to purchase a duty-free vehicle locally, under the Barbados Returning Networkers Programme (formerly known as the Returning Nationals Programme).

According to officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade (MFA), the change was recently approved by the Cabinet to facilitate those Barbadians returning home who want to avoid the hassle of importing a vehicle. It will also allow local car dealers to benefit from an additional stream of revenue and boost the country???s foreign exchange earning capacity.

The new measures are in keeping with Government???s policy of engaging the Barbadian diaspora by facilitating their resettlement as a means of encouraging them to invest in the economy and transfer their skills and expertise.

Under this programme, Barbadians, who meet the criteria and are approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, will be able to submit the appropriate documentation and visit the show room of any local car dealer to purchase one duty-free vehicle based on the stipulations contained in the Barbados Networker Policy.

The vehicle must be paid in full using funds directly transmitted from an overseas account bearing the name of the networker or his or her legal spouse. Returning nationals will still be able to import their existing vehicles if this is the preferred option.

During recent discussions with a consortium of local car dealers, the Ministry???s Head of the Consular Division/Barbados Networker programme, Natalie Cox, and other Ministry officials, disclosed that consultations were held with stakeholder agencies including the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, the Central Bank and the Customs and Excise Department, to ensure that the programme would be implemented effectively.

Following the discussions, arrangements are currently ongoing to sensitise members living in the diaspora, Barbados??? overseas missions and other relevant persons about the new arrangements. Additionally, MFA???s website will be updated to reflect the new provisions governing the Barbados Networker policy.

Further information on the new arrangements may be obtained by contacting the Consular Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade at 431-2200.

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