Home News Local news Christensen Urges Regulations Changes to Help V.I. Watch Industry

Christensen Urges Regulations Changes to Help V.I. Watch Industry

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Nov. 21, 2006 — Delegate Donna M. Christensen has written to the U.S. Department of Commerce urging them to eliminate the value limits for watches assembled in the territory, according to a release issued Tuesday by Christensen's office.
Currently, in order to receive the "watch program" duty-exemption benefits, watches assembled in the territory from component parts cannot have a value of more than $35 for watch movements and $800 for watches.
Earlier this year, the USVI Watch & Jewelry Manufacturers Association wrote to the Department of Commerce to ask them to re-examine the current value limits in view of the fact that the cost of gold has more than doubled in the past year.
I strongly urge the Departments of Commerce and the Interior to eliminate the watch and watch movement value limits from the regulations, thereby further enhancing recent Congressional efforts to promote and grow watch production and watch employment in the Virgin Islands, Christensen said.
The release continues: "The V.I. watch industry, which dates back to 1959, has faced a number of very serious challenges in recent years, including devastating hurricanes and, more recently, aggressive competition from low-wage foreign producers."

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