Gov't removes GCT on solar panel batteries
Solar panels

KINGSTON, Jamaica — The General Consumption Tax (GCT) on Lithium-ion batteries, used in solar panels, has been removed.

This was noted in a memo to customs officers from the Jamaica Customs Agency recently. The memo was from Francine Dunbar, director of Classification and Industry Liaison.

“Consequently, effective June 13, 2022, lithium-ion batteries imported for use in solar application are exempt from payment of General Consumption Tax,” the memo read in part.

This means people importing/selling/buying these batteries are no longer required to pay GCT.

Neiko Williams from Modern Solar Batteries and Supplies said with the removal of the GCT, customers should experience cheaper prices, and batteries should become more affordable.

Williams, however, pointed out that with the war in Ukraine and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there is a possibility we may not see the real effect of the drop in GCT for the batteries.

“The batteries are one of the major cost factors when putting in solar panels because it is where the bulk of the money is spent,” Williams told OBSERVER ONLINE.

He said a five-kilowatt battery could cost as low as $230,000 but as high as $700,000.

“People can buy from companies locally or import the batteries themselves, but they should be wary of the cheap batteries,” Williams warned. “Most of these (cheap) batteries stop working after a few months or start to swell after a while.”

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