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Increased taxation on Barbadian goods in effect as St. Lucia remains firm

Samuel Sukhnandan, SNO Staff

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Minister Hippolyte

The imposition of a 70-per cent taxation on Barbadian goods entering these shores took effective yesterday, May, 1, 2014, and despite the uproar from Barbados, the St. Lucian government remains firm in its decision.

In a brief interview with St. Lucia News Online today, Permanent Secretary in the Commerce Ministry Titus Preville noted that the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) will guide the process as it relates to Barbados’ disapproval with this move.

And speaking to the media recently, Commerce Minister Emma Hippolyte echoed similar sentiments, saying the move is not intended to cause a war with Barbados but to ensure that Saint Lucia takes advantage of the opportunity provided in the laws governing the trade agreement among CARICOM member states. She said this move will also help the island receive more revenue.

Hippolyte further explained that there is no breach in the CARICOM trade agreement between the two countries and the move to increase taxes is within the island’s legal right.

The minister emphasised that the move is made within the guidelines set out in the Treaty of Chaguaramus, which states that countries could adjust rates of duties in items upwards. Hippolyte added that Saint Lucia, which is a member of CARICOM, could take advantage of provisions to increase taxation.

However, the Barbadian government has said it will use the upcoming Council of Trade and Economic Development (COTED) meeting scheduled for May 6-10 in Guyana to iron out this issue and bring to the fore why the Barbadian government feels that the increased taxation should not be imposed.

A large contingent from Barbados is expected to attend this meeting, but the Barbadian government has since sought to meet with its Saint Lucian counterparts before the COTED meeting. There is no information whether these meetings came through and whether the two countries have agreed on something else.

Under article 164, Lesser Developed Countries (LDCs) are allowed to suspend as a “temporary measure” preferential treatment usually granted to products of other CARICOM member states in order to promote the development of a specific sensitive industry in the LDCs.

The implementation of the regime means higher duties for a specific list of goods being imported from ‘More Developed Countries’ within CARICOM. Already, officials at the Banks Holding Lltd out of Barbados are said to be complaining about the negative impact the tax will have on malt and beer products.

The duty rates provide a measure of protection for specific goods from the LCD’s. The regime in keeping with the CARICOM agreement will span five years from May 1, 2014 to December 31, 2018.

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33 comments

  1. You have to look hard to find a Lucian product on a Barbados supermarket shelf

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  2. Man from the East

    I have always lamented that our products are far superior than those from Barbados
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    AB and Daughter of Helen like the both of u are rabid Bajan haters. That's your prerogative its also the prerogative of the Gov of Barbados to impose the same level of duties or to take some action to balance the crap duties imposed by St. Lucia. Heinekin beer which is not a St. Lucia product is sold in Barbados as a St. Lucia product. An end must be put to that pronto. There is nothing in St. Lucia that Bajans need. So whatever products u do export can be ignored. Mangoes and bananas can be sourced from another desperate island easily. If you mess with us will eff u up is a simple theory that works.

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    • @Man from the East, how stupid are you? Heineken is also made in Saint Lucia and Barbados cannot impose higher duties on us because it's considered a more developed nation...the curse of flaunting it's development. Now bend over cuz we're behind y'all.

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    • Mam/Sir, STFU.
      I am entitled to my opinion if I believe I am true and correct in my assessment.

      And what about Barbados must I like?
      Aren't there enough Barbadians to "love or like" their own island?
      Why should I?
      I am a Saint Lucian, born and bred.
      My 238 sq Miles of realestate comes first.

      Furthermore, if your emotional dumb brain didn't know, the Treaty makes it clear that St. LUCIA is correct and Barbados is signatory to it also.

      So, swing your ignorant ass on another branch.

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  3. A--B,The grade level was inadvertently left out.The sentence should have been that you are operating at grade eight proficiency.

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  4. A-b,you waste no time to call people idiots.However,based on your contributions you do not seem to be as intelligent as you may think you are. I think you are operating at grade proficiency.
    You jumped all over the person who spoke about backlash.
    The person is talking about the ramifications of the decision which was taken.Trade is a two street.
    You stated that hadly anyone drinks bajan beer.Alluding to the fact that bajan goods do not sell well here.if your conclusion is correct,then the question to be asked is,Why start a fight in the first place,if very few bajan goods are sold here,consequently,the cost of the goods to us will be much higher,resulting in less goods being sold.Importers will stop bringing these goods and the end result will be loss of taxes to the government.
    now,please tell me how the government benefits from such action?
    Mr.A - -B,since you are so bright,please tell us what St.lucian products are exported to Barbados and what is the annual amount?
    If the amount is in the millions of dollars,do you expect that Barbados to say,NO PROBLEM,every thing is all right?
    Now,if Barbados responds in kind,what effect will such a move have on our manufacturers,who,right now are drowning in the waters of a very bad economy?
    If this were to come to pass,Who should be blamed for making a bad economy worse.
    ARE WE TALKING ABOUT ABOUT LAYOFFS?
    Less taxes to be collected due to less sales,less raw materials imported therefore lee taxes collected.
    Less money being circulated in the economy due to layoffs.
    A-B,kindly provide answers.

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    • You had to post a long emotional comment based upon what i stated with ridiculous assertions that make no sense.

      Get it right.
      I said, i hardly know of anyone who drinks Banks Beer.
      As a matter of fact, i have not even seen it this on our shelves for a very long-time.

      Now you stated that i am operating at
      grade 8 proficiency. But you missed a key point in your childish rant and its that, We are within our rights to impose such taxes, because it is governed by a Caricom Treaty signed in Basseterre. And in this Treaty it states that the islands that are deemed LDC should be able to impose such taxes to allow a level playing field because of the MDC's "roles eyes."

      Perhaps you're not privy to such information, but yet want to call me out.

      Kameroon, i would advise you to not speak on just mere emotions. Its a Feminine trait.
      If you're a male as your screen-name would suggest, then i would have expected you to be more logical with proper information to make your point.

      But i won't say you're operating at grade 8 proficiency.

      I'll say, you're sporting your pseudo intellect.
      Have a Good day, Sir/Mam.

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  5. Taxing Barbados produtes higher will hurt both parties. You all are neighbours you all should have free trade between neighbours.A bigger market for every one's goods will benefit all.

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  6. I thought their tourism minister said that we were 20 yrs behind. I agree with our government, if we're behind, then we do them from behind lol...

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  7. no more bajan cherry box juice

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  8. Why did they agree to it in the first place.

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  9. Their *

    and its.the Lucians who dont have

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  10. Sniffing Dog...its.not the government that will take /get the backlash...its LUCIANS !! Not Emma for sure and the others ...there pockets safe already.

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    • What "back lash" are you stupid idiots talking about?

      You morons are consistent in your thoughts.
      You are making a small island like Barbados look like some first world with a trillion dollar economy.

      These are poor islands that MUST look in their best interest.

      I for one, hardly see any Barbadian products on our shelves.

      And who drinks Banks Beer in SLU?
      I just don't know.

      So what backlash are you idiots talking about?

      AT least if you're making a statement, then back it up with outlining what you just spoke of.

      But stupid people make the most noise because it's the easiest thing to do.

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      • Indeed, AB, I seems to always agree with your view points...case in point, Guy Joseph...to borrow from you, "empty vessels..." enfant, enfant!!

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      • a b y u disrespectful I hope u don't have 2 go 2 Barbados 4a visa and have 2 stay in a guess house an take taxi or buy food then have 2 not tell them u from SLU coz u mite feel d back lash in ur wallet being ignorant hey u calling people stupid idiots if u don't have a respectful comment stay away from this forum

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        • I have no need or want to go to Barbados.
          I can remember a very long time in 1993, I had a connecting flight in Barbados to the UK, that's just about it.
          From since, I have no need to venture in such territories.

          Can you remember when the Barbadian government insulted our island last year?
          What do you have to say about it?

          Didn't they know they needed US to support their banks beer?
          And who drinks banks beer?
          Lmao.

          It would better if they exported their women instead. 🙂

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  11. Well said Serious.

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  12. What the Bajans complaining about,its legal according to the treaty.by the way St.lucians dont drink banks beer of such or malt our piton beer and malt is of superior quality.

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    • I have always lamented that our products are far superior than those from Barbados.
      And i only of Banks Beer.

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  13. We moving forward people.

    Didn't they know that we would act. Hahahaha.

    By the way, what exactly do they export to St. Lucia?

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    • Ah ha u telling on ur self now that u born on d first of April ur knowledge is limited if u asking what SLU export 2 Barbados now that's da most noise vessel

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  14. This is the thing with the politricks, you have people running ministries without any relevant experience of it. Emma is a minister of commerce but she has no experience of running a business or trying to make a profit.

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  15. I hope d gov can take d back lash that will come from BAJANS not wanting to bye our goods in Barbados coz trade is a 2way street were give and take is part of economic structure do they realize some of our exports will take PLOCK an in return our businesses who need that overseas market will b hurting financially an trickle down 2d employees especially when they talking budget cut in d house now, wow d more educated some people are d more foolish they become

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    • What are those goods you know that we ship to Barbados?

      The treaty makes it absolutely clear that we are in the right to act.

      It's only now, Barbados realizes that part of the treaty is out-dated, since we acted upon it.

      Well then, ignorance and arrogance was walking hands in hands when those that felt they were so little but yet mighty in the Caribbean signed it.

      SLU, for life!

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      • Wow I thought knowledge power an looks like u never been to Barbados an d Piton beer I drank there in a bar was a Barks beer disrespecting a PITON

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  16. I HONESTLY DO NOT UNDERSTAND THAT BS.WE TALKING CARICOM,OECS UNITY,CSME YOU NAME IT AND SPENDS MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN MEETINGS,FOR WHAT???? .WE PURCHASE BRAND NEW VEHICLES NOT HIRED BUT PURCHASED AND THE VERY SAME PEOPLE THAT PROCLAIM TO BE TOGETHER FIGHTING THEIR OWN NEIGHBORING ISLAND DOWN.PUTTING HIGHER TAXES ON ITEMS FROM BARBADOS WILL OBVIOUSLY MAKE THE GOODS NONCOMPETITIVE. ONE IS LEFT WITH NO OTHER CHOICE BUT TO SOURCE IT ELSEWHERE..WHY DO WE HAVE TO BUY ITEM FROM THE USA OR ELSEWHERE WHY NOT REMOVE THIS TAX SO THE GOOD ARE COMPETITIVE AND MONEY REMAIN WITHIN CARICOM?????.TOO MUCH BS IS GOING ON THAT'S WHY WE IN THESES SMALL ISLANDS WILL ALWAYS SUFFER.THE BIG QUESTION WHY,WHY, ??????

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  17. Shaking My Head

    People did you'll see Granny E at Kassav? OMG was she at Mass.......

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  18. Granny E...Now you will cause me to go out of business...Before VAT I use to buy a cartoon of Glow spread for $116.50...With the intro of Vat.it went to $144.00.....I the tax is higher on the Baj...I will not be able to buy them fellers butter....bitter days for me

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  19. so how much a pinehill bajan cherry box juice will cost me now?

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  20. correction - "$5 million of our beer" not bar

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  21. Emma said "this move will also help the island receive more revenue".

    Why these Government official always get it wrong? About $5 million of our bar is exported to Barbados annually. We all know how Barbadians are patriotic. They have called on the people not to drink St Lucia's beer and will will not. They are saying if ST Lucian cannot drink our we will not drink theirs. Emma, Is it also possible that if 50% of the $5 million is lost, workers at the brewery can be sent home?

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  22. A good policy decision, Ma Emma. However you must now anticipate the Bajan's reaction. They act strange sometimes and think that they are superior. Remember their ego is somewhat bruised.

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