latest news in Aruba

Once a week, on Sundays I write about the most relevant and interesting happenings on the island in my weekly newsletter.

This weeks edition features the top news headlines in Aruba.

Subscribing to my newsletter is an ideal way to stay up to date with what’s going on in Aruba – whether you’re living on the island, miles away or your first visit!  

If this is your first time reading my newsletter – welcome!

Temporary Crisis Levy in Aruba

The government implemented a temporary crisis levy in Aruba and its effective today (July 1, 2018).

Here’s the official notice letter by the tax department in Aruba.

“The Aruba Tax Department hereby reports that recently the Parliament of Aruba passed a legislative bill entitled “introduction of a crisis levy and other tax measures”, which provides for amendments to a number of tax ordinances. The most important amendments are summarized below and are scheduled to enter into force on July 1, 2018.

Turnover tax (BBO, BAZV and BAVP)

Subject to turnover tax (“Belasting op bedrijfsomzetten”), abbreviated as BBO, and health tax (“Bestemmingsheffing AZV”), abbreviated as BAZV, are entrepreneurs that in the course of their enterprise supply goods or render services in Aruba. The taxable base consists of all remunerations (in cash or in kind) received by the entrepreneur for the supply of goods or the rendering of services in Aruba. The tax rate is set on 1.5% for the BBO and 2% for the BAZV. Please be informed that although they are different tax types, their tax base and other characteristics are similar.

As of July 1, 2018 a PPP projects additional funding tax (“Belasting additionele voorzieningen PPS-projecten”) has been introduced at a tax rate of 1.5%. This tax type can be abbreviated as BAVP.

The existing BAZV tax rate has been adjusted as of July 1, 2018 to 3% and would therefore bring the total turnover taxes such as BBO, BAZV and BAVP to 6%.

Turnover tax is payable by the business supplying the good or service. In practice, this can cause complications for foreign businesses, given their limited presence in Aruba. These complications will be partially eliminated with the introduction of the possibility for the Minister in charge of finance to determine that in some cases the BBO/BAZV/BAVP will not be payable by the foreign business, but by the domestic client (“reverse-charge mechanism”).

On a final note. The exemptions for particular services supplied by banks and for forming and performing insurance contracts has been revoked. However, this does not extend to pension or life insurance contracts.


As of July 1, 2028 certain products and services are going to cost more.

Here’s some of the most important changes you take note of.

New Passenger Related Airport Taxes

The airport tax will increase as of July 1, 2018.

This was announced by Aruba Airport Authority, after they released plans for their new “gateway 2030” project to renovate the entire airport. To be able to finance the project, the decision was made to increase the passenger related airport charges.

The taxes that will change are…

  • Passenger facility tax
  • Security Surcharge
  • General Usage Charge
  • Special Facility Charge
  • Transfer

The new airport taxes varies for different countries.

The taxes are separated for: US travelers (including transit), flights to Bonaire, Curacao / St. Maarten and passengers to all other destinations.

Here’s a view of the new rates and charges.

Comparing the airport charges in the Caribbean, Aruba’s airport taxes are one of the lowest in the region. 

New changes in prices will be implemented into your airline ticket and count as of July 1, 2018.

Taxi Drivers Want To Increase Rate

Taxi drivers association in Aruba also want to increase their rates, after the government announced the new temporary tax levy.

According to the taxi drivers, they haven’t received an increase in rate by the government since the first turn over tax was introduced over a decade ago.

The taxi drivers didn’t publicize their new price list yet, because they are waiting approval by the government.

More information will be published after official news has been released.

Paying More For Gas

Renting a car on the island is one of the best things you can do if you plan to discover the island, out and about, or grocery shopping.

If you’re planning on renting a car in Aruba, here are the new gas prices as of July 1, 2018.

  • Gasoline – 219,7 cents per liter (increase of 10,9 cents)
  • Diesel – 189,0 cent per liter (increase of 9,3 cents)

1 US Dollars is equal to 1,75 Aruban guilders.

Take note of the new gas prices and budget accordingly if you renting a car in Aruba.

Don’t have a car rental yet? Let me help you find a rental car, just send me an email.

Bank Fees Also Increase

The banks are also increasing the fees on their services as a result of the tax increase.

It depends on the bank in Aruba how much they will increase the fees (or if they decide not to).

Aruba Bank is one of the islands many banks, and they published the fee schedule for the convenience of their customers (locals and foreigners).

Incase you plan to use your credit card or debit card on the island, here’s some of the fees you should take note of (if you’re using ArubaBank).

Non residents in Aruba are charged when withdrawing money from credit or debit card at Aruba Bank ATM $5.30 (per withdrawal). Locals are charged 4,50 Aruban florins to withdrawal at other ATM.

Fast Ferry Project Moves Forward

Last week the minister of transport announced plans start with a fast ferry service between ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire & Curacao)..

During a town hall meeting in San Nicolas this week,  the minister gave a presentation about the fast ferry project. He also invited a special guest, Ton Jansen, who is an expert at fast ferry to give a scope of the project, receive feedback from stakeholders (and address any concerns).

According to the minister of transport, the next step will be signing an agreement between ABC islands to start construction (including the fast ferry operators).

More details about fast ferry projects in my recent newsletters.

Old Lens Used By California Lighthouse Displayed at the Cruise Port

The old lens used in the California Lighthouse is displayed in the halls of the cruise port in Aruba. The lens is over 100 years old and was manufactured by a French company that doesn’t exist anymore.

Cruise passengers are going to be the first to admire this important part of Aruba’s history.

The idea is to keep relocating the lens around the island, so everyone gets a chance to see it and learn about the history of the california lighthouse.

California lighthouse is one of the most popular landmarks on the island. It was closed for several years, but was recently restored and is open for the public.

Jetblue Adds 2 New Flights To Aruba

JetBlue announced that they are adding extra flights to Aruba from Boston.

Take advantage of the cheap flight deals and book your trip to Aruba (and find a nice place to stay near Eagle or Palm Beach).

All inclusive in Aruba or not?

All inclusive in Aruba or not, this view is amazing! Wish you were here…

JetBlue is one of the islands most important airlines that services from Boston, New York and Fort Lauderdale.

The airline will have 2 additional flights from Boston that will start in the last quarter of 2018 (and into 2019).

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