Import Duty Explained

Since January 1st 2013 there has been a change in the import duty level for inverter air conditioning from 22% to 2%. This law though was linked to two conditions:

1)    The Inverter Unit needs to have a minimum Seer of 18.
2)    The Inverter Unit has to have an AHRI Certificate.

The question for many now is: What is SEER and what is AHRI?
Well, this is a short simple way to explain:

SEER is the abbreviation of Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, what is an efficiency indication. The higher the number the higher the efficiency, meaning the higher the SEER the higher the savings on energy costs. On international market, air conditioning equipment is available with SEER 28, thus the SEER 18 as a minimum is not too conservative.

AHRI is an independent international Institute that makes standards for several type of equipment such as Air Conditioners, Heaters, Coolers and Freezers. AHRI is the abbreviation for; Air Conditioning Heating and Refrigeration Institute. This institute certificates equipments as a prove for the efficiency number. In their own facility equipments are being tested at certain conditions to verify if they comply with the standards. All air conditioning factories that want their equipment certified will send their equipment to achieve such certificate. 
This is very important since not all inverter air conditioners saves as much as they say. With this certificate you can verify the efficiency level of your equipment.
Worldwide there are two independent institutions that gives efficiency certificates which are AHRI and ECC. The difference is that ECC does this for only 50Hz equipment (European) while AHRI does both. (50Hz and 60Hz, the latter is applicable for Aruba)

On the following website you can find out which brands have an AHRI certificate for their inverter units: AHRI

To make it easier, these are the brands by alphabetic order:
American Standard, ArcoAire, Coleman, Comfortmaker, Daikin, Day & Night, EAIR, ECR International, EnviroMaster, Evcon, Fraser, FriedRich Air Conditioner, Fujitsu, Goodman, Gree, Guardian, Heil, KeepRite, Kenmore, Lennox, LG Electronics, Luxaire, MCQuay, Midea, Mitsubishi Electric, Maytag, Westinghouse, Panasonic, Quul, Sea Breeeze, Tempstar, Trane, YMGI y York.

What has to be taken in account is that most of these brands have several models and not all models are send out for testing at AHRI. That’s why the importance of asking for an AHRI Certificate.

The intention of this change directive is to allow a price benefit for proven high efficient AC’s which will lead to lowering of energy consumption on Aruba and will give clear financial benefit to AC buyers.

Concluding, it’s probably a good decision that has been made to allow only air conditioner of a minimum SEER of 18 and with AHRI Certificate to be imported at a lower import duty of 2%. This way we make sure that we get air conditioners with certificate (good quality) and that really saves on energy cost.

Hopefully this way it’s easier to understand what the new import duty law on inverter air conditioners means.

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