Zambia’s government decided to suspend 10% customs duty formerly imposed on exports of exotic hides. Very good news for farmers then. For the ones who are still working there at least. In fact, owing to such tax, some manufacturers were compelled to shut down. Yet, on the other hand, the others may be confident in an optimistic outlook. Crocodile strikes back.
They have suspended 10% customs duty
In the last few months, the Zambian Crocodile Farmers Association had sent an alert message. The customs duty, 10%, imposed on exports of exotic hides, first implemented in January 2019, was actually bringing about a heavy downturn in sales. Right because of that, around 1.3 million hides and skins were stockpiled in the farming warehouses. Johann Jordan, president of the association, had spotlighted the scenario, which he considered to be an “appalling situation”, while warning, at the same time, that duties were about to jeopardize exotic animals breeding industry. Last March, everybody could face consequences directly. In fact, due to the difficulties the business was going through, they did not manage to build up a new tannery, which they had formerly planned.
Crocodile strikes back
While releasing a statement, in the last few hours, the association made public that almost the whole of companies have already announced their plan to make some investments, after the customs duty suspension, in capacity and manufacturing, in order to improve both quantity and quality of raw hides. “Our industry has the potential to lead the worldwide market – remarked Bill Thomas, spokesperson of the Zambian Crocodile Farmers Association –. Undoubtedly, in the value chain, manufacturing industries, agriculture and tourism can benefit from crocodile hides”. As reported by local media, allegedly the association has already set in motion again an additional plan to build a new tannery. Alternatively, they are planning to enhance and boost a formerly working one.