Monday, December 18, 2017
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Barbados implements fee on foreign purchases and payments using credit cards


Credit-CardsThe Central Bank of Barbados (CBB) Monday said that a two per cent fee on foreign purchases and payments made using credit, debit and travel cards goes into effect from Friday, September 1.


It said the Foreign Exchange Fee (FXF) is applicable to purchases made while overseas, as well as to items purchased from companies outside Barbados.


But it noted if the transactions are cancelled, the fee is refundable.


The CBB said that the fee will be calculated on the Barbados value of the transaction using the exchange rate on the date that the transaction is processed, not on the date that the bill is paid, and will be applied even if customers choose to be billed in Barbados dollars (One Barbados dollar=US$0.50 cents)..


“This is because whether the transaction charge is executed in Barbadian or foreign currency, it is ultimately settled using foreign currency,” the CBB said in a statement,


The FXF, which Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Christopher Sinckler announced during the 2017 Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals, has been in effect on cash, bank drafts and wire transfers since mid-July.


Sinckler had, during his budget address, urged Barbadians to make “major sacrifices” to rescue the ailing economy.


The CBB said that the foreign exchange fee does not affect a person's annual foreign currency allowance.


The FXF was originally due to have gone into effect from July 17, but the CBB said then that the delay was to allow the public to become familiar with the new fee.


“These additional two weeks will give us the opportunity to educate Barbadians about the Foreign Exchange Fee so that they are clear on what types of transactions it relates to and how it will be applied. This will help to ensure that there is a smooth and orderly introduction of the FXF.”

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