Due to the distance from the main continents and a specific direct tax mode, the cost of living is high in The Islands Of Tahiti.
Convenience goods are primarily imported from the United States, Australia, New Zealand or from China.
Local agriculture or Polynesian craft industry goods are also expensive because of the labour cost and the scarcity of some natural products.
However, as the Polynesian Government bears the costs of freight between islands, importation taxes and VAT and convenience goods are sold at the same price on the majority of islands.
Here is some indication of prices charged in Tahiti in 2011 :
1 baguette = 53 CFP (0,44 €)
Orange juice (2L) = 445 CFP (3,73 €)
Chocolate spread (350g) =360 CFP (3,02 €)
Spaghettis (250g) = 130 CFP (1,09 €)
Sunflower oil (1L) = 174 CFP (1,46 €)
Fresh tomatoes (1Kg) = 496 CFP (4,16 €)
Potatoes (1Kg) = 140 CFP (1,17 €)
Fruit yoghurts (4×125 ml) = 495 CFP (4,15 €)
Each price on these articles and in a restaurant includes taxes.
The value added tax (VAT) in French Polynesia has 3 rates :
- The normal rate of 16% which applies in a general way to the operations of importation, sales and deliveries.
- The normal rate of 10% which applies to all services except those subjected to the reduced tax.
- The reduced rate of 5% which applies to certain products and services of which hotel establishments, cruise ships, professional charters, passenger transport.
Hotel trade is taxed at 10% including a governmental tax of 5% and 5% VAT.
Moreover, a communal tax is to be paid on spot :
- 150 CFP (1,26 €) per night and per person, payable directly at each rated hotel and cruise ship and any other establishment of equivalent characteristics.
- 50 CFP (0,42 €) per night and per person, payable directly at each non-rated hotel and any other establishment of equivalent characteristics.
This communal tax only has to be paid in some towns and islands: Papeete, Faa’a, Arue, Punaauia, Moorea, Bora Bora, Huahine, Uturoa, Taha’a, Rangiroa, Mataiva, Tikehau and Nuku Hiva.
In addition, children under 12 years old staying in their parents’ room will not be taxed. The same goes for any traveller and sales agent in possession of a professional identity card staying for a maximum of 3 days.
As for the tax on cruises (TAC), it is of 500 CFP per person and per day.