Ascension Island Government

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Measures to Support Island Businesses to be Introduced

6 January 2020

Government, Travel and Shipping

Air freight

The Ascension Island and St Helena Governments are pleased to announce that air freight charges for St Helena origin fresh produce will be waived for business-to-business sales for a six-month trial period beginning in February 2020.

This initiative is being undertaken to strengthen trade between the two Islands, provide a more frequent supply of fresh produce to Ascension alongside local production and imports by sea, and contribute to St Helena’s Sustainable Economic Development Plan goal to increase exports.

Waivered air freight charges will apply to all fruit, vegetables and eggs originating from St Helena destined for Ascension but will not apply to produce originating from elsewhere.

All organisations on Ascension Island that currently sponsor the monthly inter-island charter Airlink flight have generously agreed to this waiver.  Following the trial period the waiver will be reviewed to ascertain its success and whether it should be continued.

Air freight from St Helena to Ascension may be arranged by contacting the Travel/Shipping Office on St Helena on (00 290) 22523, or by email:, by no later than midday on the Thursday before the flight is scheduled to depart.

Should businesses on St Helena wish to supply retailers on Ascension they must contact retailers directly. For more information, please contact SHG’s Agronomist, Edward Whitton, on (00 290) 24724, or via email:

Sea freight

AIG are also pleased to announce that a policy on the temporary waiver of AIG handling fees on sea freight for retail businesses operating on island will shortly be introduced.

The temporary waiver will apply to AIG handling fees incurred on retail stock. Therefore it will only apply to businesses selling goods to the public from retail premises and which are liable to pay tax on profits on Ascension.

The waiver will be applied to all retail stock unloaded from ships by AIG between 01 January 2020 and 31 March 2022.

This policy is aimed at supporting local retail businesses between now and the expected completion of the Wideawake runway reconstruction project, at which point it is anticipated the south Atlantic Airbridge service will recommence.

AIG hope this decision will not only support local businesses whilst the Airbridge remains suspended, but that the benefits of this policy may be felt by customers and the public more widely.

Businesses likely to be affected by this policy change will be contacted directly with information on how the fee waiver system will work.