Chamber News

Business News, Thursday 5 May 2022

Dear members, some exciting announcements in relation to the Government’s new stimulus, waiving of road taxes in 2022, V-Labs SW reintegration program and free ongoing assistance from VCCI in getting your Work Health and Safety planning completed – details below: Governments’ 3rd Stimulus Package is on! Are you a Business License Holder, Municipality Open Air Vendor Permit Holder, Liquor License Holder or Fishing License Holder? If yes, then you are eligible to apply for the Small Business Grant (SBG), a payment of 15,000vt per month for 6 months (March – August 2022). VCCI is opening its application support center from today onwards – 9am – 12pm and 1pm – 4pm – to assist business owners and vendors to fill up and submit their application forms….

IMPORTANT INFORMATION TO ALL BUSINESS LICENSE HOLDERS IN RELATION TO THE LATEST ANNOUNCEMENT FROM MFEM ON THE NEW ECONOMIC STIMULUS PACKAGE

On Friday 29 April MFEM announced the launching of the new ESP3 – a Small Business Grant (SBG) and Wage Subsidy Scheme (WSS), aimed at helping inject much needed cash into the local economy in 2022. What is it? To simplify, this is an extension of the existing ESP2, both the SGB and WSS schemes will be extended for another 6 months (March until August 2022). Please note, if you were successful in applying for SBG in 2021, you will automatically be paid the SBG for 2022. You do not need to re-apply. For the WSS, the same principal applies. If you were successful in applying for the WSS in 2021, you will automatically be paid the WSS for 2022. You will need to continue…

Business News, Monday 25 April 2022

Dear members, As you will have been made aware there has been significant changes to the Public Health Act. We have summarised below Order No.53 and No.54 for you, including information on where to send your SOP/WHS plan. We also encourage you to participate in Sista’s survey on sexual harassment in the workplace, article and links to this can be found below. CHANGES TO PUBLIC HEALTH ACT [CAP 234] DECLARATION OF PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY (AMENDMENT) ORDER NO. 53 OF 2022 –  Repatriations can start from 22 April 2022 under specific MOH protocols and procedures for passengers from Australia, NZ and New Caledonia 3 days quarantine and RAT test on day 3, for passengers from other countries 7 days quarantine and RAT test on day 6…

REQUEST FROM VCCI TO OUR GOVERNMENT

Dear members, During these challenging times, VCCI and VBRC have continued to work diligently to support the private sector and keep the private sector informed. This year VCCI and VBRC have focused on getting Vanuatu’s business community ‘COVID ready’ by providing Safe Business Operations training to thousands of business owners and operators across the provinces, ensuring businesses are informed on how to operate safely in a COVID environment. In addition, we have taken the lead to develop a range of industry Standard Operating Procedures, in partnership with the Ministry of Health, that has guided business operations to meet the required standards to operate safely and legally, in these times of COVID Alert level 3.   More recently, we have focused on encouraging decision-makers to improve…

IMPORTANT UPDATE ON MUNICIPAL BY-LAWS RULING

Dear members, We have received a response from the Acting Director of Department of Urban Affairs and Planning (DUAP) who onforwarded the legal advice from the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) on the issue of the legality of the newly implemented by laws of Luganville Municipal Council (LMC) including Business Permit fee by-law and Thru-Port Entry by-law. They have been deemed unlawful and unenforceable by the Attorney General, and the Ministry of Internal Affairs has been made aware of this issue. LMC is now waiting on the issuing of a ministerial order to rescind the LMC by-laws of 2021, as per proper procedures. In regards to the Port Vila Municipal Council (PVMC) by-laws, VCCI will advise all members once it has received a response…

Update from Customs, 26 March 2022

Dear members, The following directives have been received from Customs today. VCCI has been asked to pass this information on to you asap: As part of our COVID-19, Alert 3 response initiatives, some of the following measures will be introduced: Encourage taxpayers who have the ability to file VAT returns and pay on-time to voluntary come forward and do the right and legal things always as required by the laws; Strengthen and foster the working partnerships and cooperation with all licensed Tax Agents, Customers Brokers, Accountants, Professionals and our business Partners; The acceleration of tax refunds (VAT and other taxes) where taxpayers are owed money and this will be subject to careful limitation of refund fraud risks; More flexible debt payment repayment plans will be…

Business News, 24 March 2022

Dear members, The Government continues to clarify its Orders below plus important information from the Department of Labour and Customs below. VCCI is still waiting on final decisions from the Ministry of Health on whether restaurants can operate following SBO protocols. We have followed up again and again. We apologise for the delay in getting you this information. DOL directives to Businesses during the lockdown The VCCI just received this information from Department of Labour (DOL) wishing to let businesses know about the labour directives for businesses and workplace during containment, lockdown and curfews. Click HERE to download the DOL Directive. Payment of VAT during lockdown The Department of Customs & Inland Revenue wishes to advise that their Inland Revenue Taxpayer Services Section is closed…

22 March 2022 Business Update

Dear members, As posted to our Facebook and website yesterday, and explained in our VBRC Chairman’s Facebook video here we have been in touch directly with the DG Health who has confirmed that all essential and non-essential services businesses can operate from 6am to 6pm, complying with all the requirements of Order no. 43 of 2022 of Public Health Act CAP 234. We have been informed that Municipal Wardens of both Port Vila and Luganville City have been delegated responsibility from the Ministry of Health to ensure that businesses comply with the Order no. 43 of 2022, or else they will be closed and fined. They will be checking that businesses have: Set up hand washing stations, automatic sanitizing machines, or provide hand sanitizers One…

Important update for all businesses

Dear members, We have been in touch directly with the DG Health who has confirmed that all essential and non-essential services businesses can operate from 6am to 6pm, complying with all the requirements of Order no. 43 of 2022 of Public Health Act CAP 234. Wardens / Municipal Police / Police will check on businesses in Port Vila town, next Order from the Ministry of Health will refer to this action of enforcement, to check that all businesses comply with the Order no. 43 of 2022. Businesses will need to make sure that their security officer is doing his/her work as per Order no.43 of 2022. If the DG sees that businesses do not comply with Order no. 43 of 2022 and or there is…

Approved Essential Services and Specific Requirements for Businesses (as announced on 20 March 2022)

Dear members, Overnight 2 orders were released by the Government in regards to Approved Essential Services and specific requirements for businesses, land transport drivers and drivers of boats, and associated penalties for failure to comply with the orders. We are urgently seeking clarification on these as we believe they will cause some confusion amongst our business community. We will report back as soon as we are clear on our advice to you. Please find attached: 1. Approved Essential Services List by MOH of 18 March 2022 and the Official Gazette No. 23 of 2022 2. Orders Of Public Health Act [Cap 234] Declaration Of Public Health Emergency (Specific Requirements, Offences And Penalties For Individuals And Businesses) Order No. 43 Of 2022 Declaration Of Public Health…

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Covid 19 Video Updates

31 March 2020
26 March 2020