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BIPA waives penalties provided outstanding duties fully paid

BIPA waives penalties provided outstanding duties fully paid

The annual Duty Penalty Waiver of the Business and Intellectual Property Authority (BIPA) becomes effective on 15 November affording commercial enterprises a breather by waiving penalties and additional fees accrued due to non-payment of annual duties for the period 2012 to 2022.

To be considered for relief, businesses have to apply and settle their outstanding duties for each year.

BIPA Chief Executive, Vivienne Katjiuongua explained, “Through the penalty waiver programme, BIPA’s primary objective is to ensure that businesses are able to restore their dream of building competitive Namibian businesses and in so doing, inspire a culture of innovation, economic resilience and compliance.”

According to BIPA’s records, non-compliant businesses have collectively accumulated a total of approximately N$275-million in penalties for the period from 2012 to 2022. This is the sum that could potentially be waived if all non-compliant registered businesses opt to participate in the programme.

The waiver program was approved by the BIPA Board of Directors and has been endorsed by Cabinet. The programme runs for a period of six months as from 15 November 2023 concluding on 31 March 2024.

Participating businesses would now be able to amend their businesses, something not previously allowed when they owed outstanding duties and penalties. Additionally, they will receive a BIPA Good Standing certificate upon application and payment processing. This certificate will enable businesses to submit their good standing status along with other mandatory documents when participating in public procurement bids.

Katjiuongua emphasized that “another advantage for participating businesses is the ability to attract both domestic and foreign investors. Investors often conduct due diligence on Namibian businesses, including an assessment of their level of compliance with their post-registration obligations.” To have their penalties waived, businesses must pay their capital amounts for each year of non-payment, with specific amounts depending on the year and business type, including additional fees for submission.

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