Local cement importers get further suspension of tariff, Jamaica

Local cement importers get further suspension of tariff, Jamaica
Published: 25 September 2008

Local importers of cement will be getting an extended lifeline as the government has suspended the Common External Tariff (CET) on 240,000t for one year.

The CET is a region wide duty on some goods imported from outside the CARICOM Single Market. 

The suspension will allow Jamaican importers to bring in cement duty free from overseas.

The government last suspended the CET on cement in 2006.

That suspension ends this month.

Industry Minister, Karl Samuda said the new suspension will continue until September 30 next year.

At a press conference Wednesday, the minister sought to assure the public that there is no shortage of cement in the country.

He pointed out that the Ministry is suspending the CET because the local demand is not being met by Caribbean Cement Company.

"The importing community has indicated repeatedly that in every instance practically in the past the Cement Company has not fulfilled its obligation to us and its commitment given in terms of supply," he said.

He added that the government of Barbados objected to Jamaica’s application for a suspension claiming that the cement factory there could meet Jamaica’s demand for the product.

However the objection was withdrawn following a meeting between Prime Minister Bruce Golding and Prime Minister David Thompson of Barbados.