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Santo Domingo.- A prominent judicial organization on Monday filed an injunction against the Customs Agency’s provision to tax online shopping, just 12  hours after the think tank Institutionalism and Justice Foundation .

The Justice and Transparency Foundation (FJT) filed the request before the Arbitration Court at 10:30am, which demands the Office of the Ombudsman and the consumer protection agency (ProConsumidor "to come to the rescue of the people against the abuse of power by Customs."

FJY president Trajano Vidal Potentini also cautioned the member countries of the DR-Cafta trade agreement to remain alert and demand compliance of the pact.

Accompanying Vidal were the Dominican Consumers and Users Defense Alliance, ASODECU, and the Dominican Chamber of Commerce.


For its part, the Government, represented by Finance minister Simón Lizardo, said the Customs measure is legal.  

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14 comment(s)
Written by: Pedro, 4 Aug 2014 3:01 PM
From: Dominican Republic
I hear the comment that "many" abuse the $200 limit in that they resell what they have bought taxfree, and that that should be the justification for the tax. One of them, anyway. How much can you import for $200? The super-minute portion of such purchases, aimed for reselling, cannot even be measured. A very strange move indeed by the customs agency. The main reason people turn to the internet is that the goods they want to buy is simply not available in DR. To fight internetshopping by way of introducing taxes on purchases under $200 is doomed to fail. As long as DR merchants do not understand what people, especially the young, are looking for, they are doomed to lose out - tax or no tax. Wake up and do something worthwhile to protect your marketshare instead of complaining. I take my hat off for the "Join and get naked" protest, but I am too old to participate in person. Keep it up! and fight against this tax. A level playing field can be obtained in more than one way.
Written by: josearias, 4 Aug 2014 3:15 PM
From: United States
Written by: josean, 4 Aug 2014 3:21 PM
From: United States, I AM CHARLIE

I told people that pyshical stores and Malls were going to go the way of the Dinosaurs.....and that is really what this is all fundamentally about in the long run!

Written by: Ricardolito, 4 Aug 2014 5:53 PM
From: Dominican Republic, Zona Colonial
What can see all the stores in NY still going strongly because all the smart ones have embraced on líne shopping as well as physical shopping. The problem in the DR is that the stores do not have the goods or the right prices to sell online
Written by: chillinout, 4 Aug 2014 6:09 PM
From: Dominican Republic
In a poor country like this having a Duty Tax up to 35%, a Luxury tax up to 80% and sales tax of 18% is punitive. In America the average wage is $46,000 a year and here it is $7,000. Yet the people here are forced to pay 2 -3 times costs for identical items and if they can find what they really want to buy.

Some shipped in purchases - battery charger $24.00 + 10 ship = $34.00 from Walmart. Large international membership discount club here $98.00. for exact same model not in stock though. 12 outdoor LED flood lights fr Amazon $84.00 + $50.00 ship = $134.00 local price $550.00 exact same lights.

Consumption taxes hurt the lower income and the economy the most, It is not like this place is using tariffs to protect manufacturing industries. There aren't any and if this country can't compete with its low wages then that is due to government policies and taxes.

But if you make a million $ a yr paycheck the tax bill is $250,000 here vs rich America which is about $400,000.
Written by: bernies, 4 Aug 2014 6:17 PM
From: Dominican Republic, Juan Dolio
Hey DT Simon Lizardo said that the customs tax imposition is illegal.

El ministro de Hacienda, Simón Lizardo, garantizó hoy que en el Gobierno de Danilo Medina no se tomarán medidas contrarias a la Constitución de la República y que por lo tanto el impuesto a las compras por internet inferiores a US$200 dispuesto por la Dirección de Aduanas, no es ilegal.
Written by: dreadlocks, 4 Aug 2014 8:48 PM
From: United States
says josean

I told people that pyshical stores and Malls were going to go the way of the Dinosaurs.....and that is really what this is all fundamentally about in the long run!

absolutely right. the guys who are trying to overturn the duty free 200 dollar provisions are carrying water for the owners of the malls.
Written by: josean, 4 Aug 2014 9:39 PM
From: United States, I AM CHARLIE

Exactly Dr. Dread and Pepin Corripio is leading the Charge!

Written by: Ricardolito, 5 Aug 2014 1:59 AM
From: Dominican Republic, Zona Colonial
I am in total disagreement..if you think that stores and malls are going to disappear from the DR in your lifetime then you are mistaken. The online trade mainly from ebay and from amazon in the DR is not large..I have seen the offices of some of these agents in the capital and in la Romana and the people going in and out and it is a small fraction of people going into a Jumbo or Ferreteria Americana store.
However ,I can not see how the Customs office can unilaterally change an existing regulation and I have yet to see anywhere the amounts of tax to be imposed
Written by: dreadlocks, 5 Aug 2014 5:47 AM
From: United States
well, stores and malls are disappearing from the USA landscape, and it is only a matter of time before they disappear here, too.
Written by: Pedro, 6 Aug 2014 3:13 PM
From: Dominican Republic
Tax on purchases below $200 is not going to change anything - except buyers will have to pay a bit more for what they buy on-line. Dread states that stores and malls are disappearing from the US landscape. I think that is putting it a bit overly dramatic - but yes, the landscape is changing. And you know what that is called? Development, period. Nothing we create is for ever - new generations of people have different habits and different needs. The "world" of shopping is changing - what´s wrong with that? As I said before, the merchants in DR need to wake up and do something instead of complaining. I really wonder what made the Customs Agency to unilaterally change existing regulation...... In any case this will hardly cause anything to change - except in the wallets of already tested dominican buyers. People who think that the tax will alter buyers preferences and shop at home, should think again - the comment from Chillinout explains it pretty well I think.....
Written by: josean, 6 Aug 2014 4:49 PM
From: United States, I AM CHARLIE

"Dread states that stores and malls are disappearing from the US landscape. I think that is putting it a bit overly dramatic"

Well Think again:

All 2014 Store Closings - US Retail Industry Chains to Close Stores

Roundup of Retailers Closing Underperforming Locations or Going Bankrupt in 2014

According to the 2007 Economic Census, there were 1,122,703 retail establishments in the United States and a total of 14.2 billion square feet of retail space. That means that there is approximately 46.6 square feet of retail space per capita in the U.S., compared to two square feet per capita in India, 1.5 square feet per capita in Mexico, 23 square feet per capita in the United Kingdom, 13 square feet per capita in Canada, and 6.5 square feet per capita in Australia.


Written by: josean, 6 Aug 2014 4:51 PM
From: United States, I AM CHARLIE

With the explosive growth of Internet and mobile shopping, the oversaturation of physical retail locations operated by the largest U.S. retail chains becomes even more obvious. Downsizing the size of physical retail stores and the number of retail stores is a significant trend in U.S. retailing and it is a trend that will  undoubtedly continue throughout 2014 and beyond.

U.S. consumers are, in a sense, in charge of physical store closings. With their online and mobile shopping behaviors U.S. consumers are casting their vote for which retail store experiences have value and which ones can be easily replaced by their own Internet and mobile counterparts.  

Written by: josean, 6 Aug 2014 5:03 PM
From: United States, I AM CHARLIE

To tell you how bad it is for the brick and mortar retailers my nieces and nephews and their friends go to Best Buy test the items compare the prices and while in the store directly purchase the items online from their smartphones.

One of the things that has Best Buy afloat is the zero finacing options, which I am sure the overpriced Dominican retail vultures are not willing to do execept on occasions during the holidays!

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