Despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, a 16-month long wait has materialized with the opening of the British American Tobacco (BAT) Excise Bonded Warehouse in Nabua. Speaking at the event, Minister for Commerce, Industry, Trade, Tourism and Transport Faiyaz Koya said bonded warehouses are a phenomenon that has risen over the years around the world.

“Not only do bonded warehouses provide safety and security, but also enable the payment of VAT and duties on goods to be deferred until they are removed – allowing businesses to save money in the long run,” Minister Koya said.

“This $1.3 million was undertaken by BAT to optimize warehouse execution, which allows for greater storage space, improved logistical routes for faster deployment of finished goods and for full stock transparency by the means of narrow aisle racking systems,” he added. “So far, more than $10 million has been invested in the Nabua factory from 2011 to 2014. A further capital investment of over $8 million has been invested in the GLT factory in Nadi, with an additional investment of $4 million projected for 2020.”

“With the capacity to store 50 different stock-keeping unit’s (SKU’s), this facility will provide storage space for BAT products before they are released into the domestic and export markets, once clearance is provided by the relevant authorities,” Minister Koya further added. British American Tobacco Head of Finance Maimuna Haniff said BAT has a rich history of being in operation for over 60-years with the local market and supporting the local economy.

“Over these years BAT has grown from strength to strength and today we employ more than 130 staff and support over 600 farmers in the agricultural industry,” she added. “We would like to thank the government for its ongoing support in the form of export incentives.

This new bonded warehouse opened today is a new piece of infrastructure that will further optimize the processes of preparing stock for our export markets.”

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