(Barbados Nation) The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has made it harder to import extra-regional cement into Barbados at a reduced cost.
In an interim decision delivered on July 17 by CCJ President Justice Adrian Saunders, the regional court ordered Barbados to “restore and enforce” the 60 per cent import duty on hydraulic cements imported from outside the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
But the Daily Nation learnt the decision came too late to impact 13 000 tonnes of the product imported by Rock Hard Cement (RHC). That shipment arrived at the Bridgetown Port on July 9 under the reduced five per cent Common External Tariff (CET) that company has accessed since its establishment in 2015.
On May 11, Trinidad Cement Limited (TCL) and its Barbados subsidiary Arawak Cement Company Limited filed an application for special leave to commence proceedings against Barbados and RHC. It related to Government reducing from 60 per cent to five per cent the CET on hydraulic cements bought from outside of CARICOM.
Three weeks ago, TCL and Arawak filed an application asking the CCJ for interim relief.
In giving the court’s orders, Saunders said “from the date of this order and continuing until either judgement is rendered on the originating application in this matter, or the court varies or terminates the order as the case may be, the respondent shall restore and enforce the 60 per cent rate…on ‘other hydraulic cements’ imported from outside [CARICOM]”.
He said Barbados should ensure that all shipments of extra-regional cement imported into the island should attract the 60 per cent CET.