CASTRIES, St Lucia – The Health and Citizen Security Levy (HCSL) is an investment in our community, our country – our people, says the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) press release Monday, October 30, 2023.
As defined in the subtitle ‘investing in our future and wellbeing’ Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre, with the support of his cabinet of ministers, “devised HCSL to improve the government’s financial ability to provide quality healthcare services to the public and reinforce Saint Lucia’s national security infrastructure for a safer and more secure country.”
The legislation establishing the HCSL was passed in the parliament of Saint Lucia in July 2023. The HCSL is charged on imported goods and services at a rate of 2.5 percent.
Application of the 2.5 percent
The OPM advised that the Department of Customs and Excise applies the HCSL to goods entering Saint Lucia that are not on the exemption list, and the Inland Revenue Department collects the HCSL from service providers.
“The application of the HCSL on goods entering Saint Lucia became effective as of August 2, 2023. The application of the HCSL on services became effective as of October 2, 2023,” said the OPM press release. “Food items and select medicinal products are exempted and will not attract the HCSL.”
The HCSL “devised” by the “cabinet of ministers” and executedby the government of Saint Lucia is expected to generate annual tax returns of XCD33M in new revenue.
The general understanding is such that “goods that did not attract Value Added Tax (VAT) and zero-rated goods will not be subjected to the HCSL. Thus, the OPM advised, “the implementation of the HCSL should not cause the price of food items and medicine to increase.”
This Health and Citizen Security Levy (HCSL) 2.5 percent revenue “will improve the government’s fiscal ability to expand public health services, further reduce the cost of medical services and provide a higher quality of healthcare services to improve the health and wellbeing of our nation,” the OPM advised.
Last Friday, the OPM noted that “Prime Minister, Philip J. Pierre, leads a cabinet of ministers and heads a government that has fertilized the local economy with sound economic policies to empower startups and new businesses and help existing companies grow and expand their operations.”