The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) reinstated extra-regional tariffs on cement imports into Barbados, reported the Daily Nation. In an interim decision on July 17 by CCJ President Justice Adrian Saunders, the regional court ordered Barbados to “restore and enforce” a 60 percent import duty on hydraulic cements imported from outside the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
On May 11, Trinidad Cement Ltd. (TCL) and its Barbados-based subsidiary Arawak Cement Co. Ltd. filed an application for special leave at the CCJ in order to pursue an originating application against Barbados. The originating application claims (inter alia) that Barbados has contravened several articles of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.
The companies are contesting that thecountry’s applied import tariff on hydraulic cement being lowered to 5 percent in 2015 caused distorted competition and promoted unfair trade practices within the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME).
Three weeks ago, TCL and Arawak filed an application asking the CCJ for interim relief.
In giving the court’s orders, Saunders said Barbados should ensure that all shipments of extra-regional cement imported into the island should attract the 60 percent CET.
“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 percent rate … on ‘other hydraulic cements’ imported from outside [CARICOM],” affirmed Saunders.