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Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries have imposed a 30 per cent import duty on condensed milk produced outside of the region.
The duty went into effect on New Year’s Day.
In a circular to businesses and consumers, the Belizean government explained that the increase in import duty comes as a result of Jamaica being able to meet most of the demand of customers in the CARICOM Single Market (CSME).
“Under the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas (RTC), which established the CSME, if a particular product (e.g. condensed milk) is being produced in a CARICOM state, then such producer is entitled to protection in the regional market through the Common External Tariff (CET),” the government said.
“Jamaica has been producing condensed milk for some time and has recently increased production to meet the threshold of 75 per cent of CARICOM’s demand. It was in this context that Jamaica requested the full protection of the CET from the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED).”
Belize said stakeholders are obligated to apply the 30 per cent import duty as the country also benefits from CETs on products such as sugar and frozen concentrated orange and grapefruit juices.
The government added that having duty free products available from Jamaica will have a negligible effect on prices. (Loop News)