Rudisa and the governance of Guyana
The case of Rudisa Beverages and Juices (Rudisa) v The State of Guyana, decided by the Caribbean Court of Justice (“CCJ”) on May 8, 2014, exposes not only the state of governance in Guyana over the past two decades but also symbolizes the complete loss of Guyana’s ability to achieve political agreement on any matter of consequence.
Rudisa, a Suriname company, produces and sells beverages in non-returnable containers. Caribbean International Distributors Inc. (“CIDI”), a locally owned subsidiary of Rudisa, imports and sells them in Guyana. They alleged that the imposition by Guyana in 1995, by section 7A of the Customs Act, of an environmental levy or tax of $10 on all imported non-returnable beverage containers imported into Guyana, was discriminatory and amounted to a violation of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas (“RTC”) passed into Guyana law in 2006.