Rock Hard Cement wins classification ruling

Rock Hard Cement wins classification ruling
07 August 2019

Barbados-based Rock Hard Cement Ltd has won a final court ruling regarding the classification of its cement and therefore its related tariff.

"Today’s judgment settled the dispute as to whether Rock Hard Cement ought to be classified as ‘Building cement (grey)’ and be charged a CARICOM tax of 15 per cent when imported into the region, or as ‘Other hydraulic cement’ in which case a levy of 0-5 per cent would be payable," said the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) in a statement. 

Earlier this year, the CARICOM Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) had decided that Rock Hard Cement was to be classified as ‘Other hydraulic cement’ in line with advice received from the World Customs Organisation’s (WCO) Harmonized System Committee.

However, local competitors, Trinidad Cement Ltd and Arawak Cement Company Ltd, reportedly argued that COTED’s decision-making process was procedurally flawed and that COTED’s reliance on the WCO’s advice went against the economic objectives of the CARICOM tax, according to Barbados Today.

While the CCJ upheld the COTED classification decision, it has advised that recent developments in the cement industry make it appropriate for a study to be done by COTED to assess whether the tariff rate for imported ‘Other hydraulic cement’ ought to be increased to provide additional protection for regional cement manufacturers.

Published under Cement News