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Effective 1 July, all arriving passengers to Antigua & Barbuda will be required to pay a US$10 Passenger Facility Charge.

In explaining the rationale for the introduction of this new measure, Minister of Aviation Robin Yearwood said, “The Passenger Facility Charge will come into effect on tickets for travelling passengers arriving into Antigua on 1 July, 2003.”

Payment of the US$10 or its equivalent will be done at the time of the purchase of the ticket. 

The Passenger Facility Charge will be included in the cost of the ticket and separately identified on the ticket invoice. 

The airline to airline international finance clearing house system will be responsible for handing over the Passenger Facility Charge collected to the government within the stipulated timeframe.

He said the introduction of the new revenue measure is not unique to Antigua & Barbuda.

“The Passenger Facility Charge mechanism has been used successfully in a number of jurisdictions throughout the world, including at state level in the United States, in Curacao in the Netherlands Antilles, Barbados, St. Lucia, Grenada, Jamaica, Cuba and the United Kingdom,” Yearwood said.

“The development of the Passenger Facility Charge in Antigua has been undertaken in consultation with airlines operating in Antigua & Barbuda and a number of airlines have been incorporated into the legislation,” he added.

According to the Aviation Minister, the purpose of the PFC is to provide a steady and dedicated stream of funds for airport development, maintenance and ongoing capital works. 

He further said that the Passenger Facility Charge differs from the departure tax which is paid into the consolidated fund and used for personnel, administration and security matters. 

Yearwood noted that the government is being pressured by airlines to further improve the services at the V.C. Bird International Airport “to meet the long haul and the demands of passengers.”

Currently, the government is engaged in ongoing development works at the V.C. Bird International Airport and the imposition of this Passenger Facility Charge is intended to finance this proposed development.

Thus, all revenue raised will be applied to the expansion, improvement and thereafter-continuing maintenance of the facility for the comfort and security of passengers. 

Each airline will be required to submit weekly reports together with a copy of the passenger manifest for every flight arriving in Antigua & Barbuda to the Commissioner of Inland Revenue. 

The reports will contain information including the name of the operating carrier; the flight number; date of arrival, the total number of passengers arriving on the flight; the number of passengers for whom the charge is payable and the total Passenger Facility Charge collected.

Nine categories of people are exempted from paying the passenger facility charge.

These include passengers transiting Antigua & Barbuda on the same flight as designated by the flight number; children under the age of 12 at the time of travel; people comprising the crew of an arriving aircraft; positioning air crew; people taking part in training flights; passengers travelling on the domestic sector between Antigua & Barbuda; people travelling on military, scientific or meteorological flights to whom no ticket has been issued; persons travelling on diplomatic passports and such other people as the minister may order published in the Gazette to be exempted.

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