Peru’s Finance Ministry may seek a gradual reinstatement of a duty on cement imports, which a high-level court this month said should be at 12%, a high-level official said.
Peru’s highest court, the Constitutional Tribunal, this month said it had decided to reimpose the 12% duty, which the government had dropped to zero in late 2007.
The Finance Ministry has opposed that decision and asked for more details from the court.
Deputy Finance Minister Carlos Casas said that this implies "more consultations over the idea of a gradual [reintroduction of the duty.]"
Casas told the government television station on Tuesday that there are now three duty levels, at 17%, 9% and zero.
"Obviously, we aren’t going to reinstate a 17% duty. There is a problem because now there are only three levels and to reimpose the 12% duty would create a special category only for this product," he said.
"What we are thinking in general is that imports of cement should have a low duty so we can guarantee that the dynamic activity in the construction sector continues," he added.
Peru’s largest cement producer, Cementos Lima SA in early 2008 had asked the Tribunal to rule on the removal of the duty.