Barbados, Thursday April 18, 2019
– A Barbadian company has won a trade dispute with its Trinidadian-owned competitor
over import tax on cement.
The Caribbean Court of Justice
(CCJ) yesterday ruled in favour of Rock Hard Cement over Arawak Cement Company,
a subsidiary of Trinidad Cement Limited (TCL), that the regional tax payable on
cement imported by the Barbadian company from Portugal and Turkey should be
five per cent and not 60 per cent.
The amount is a far cry from the 60
per cent tariff that Rock Hard Cement had once paid on the imports.
In 2001, CARICOM’s Council for Trade
and Economic Development (COTED) had granted Barbados an exemption, in respect
of the regional Common External Tariff (CET) of zero to five per cent, so that
the State could apply taxes of 60 per cent to categories of cement described as
‘other hydraulic cement’ – cement used to stop water and leaks in concrete and
masonry structures. The regional tariff is intended to offer goods produced and
distributed in the region an advantage over imported ones. In 2015, Barbados
decided to return to the CET and apply a five per cent tax on the ‘other
hydraulic cement’ imported by Rock Hard Cement Limited.
TCL and Arawak Cement Company had
contended that Barbados contravened the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas by
unilaterally reducing and/or altering the CET on ‘other hydraulic cement’ from
the rate approved by COTED. They also claimed that Barbados misclassified
extra-regional cement imported by Rock Hard as ‘other hydraulic cement’.
In its ruling yesterday, the CCJ said
that where COTED allowed a member state to charge taxes higher than the
regional tariff on the importation of good from outside the region, there was
no need for the member state to obtain approval from COTED to revert to the
However, it said, in these
circumstances, the member state should give reasonable notice of its intention
of returning to the regional tariff, to ensure that regional businesses enjoy
transparency, certainty, and predictability of tax structures.
The CCJ found that the regional
manufacturers of cement who had brought the action against Barbados – TCL and
Arawak Cement Company – had notice for several years of Barbados’ intention to
revert to the regional tariff.
TCL and Arawak Cement Company
Limited had filed an application last May for special leave to commence
proceedings against Barbados and Rock Hard Cement over the import tax on cement.
They subsequently filed an application asking the CCJ for interim relief and
the Trinidad-based court ordered Barbados to “restore and enforce” the 60 per
cent import duty on hydraulic cements imported from outside CARICOM “until
either judgement is rendered on the originating application in this matter, or
the court varies or terminates the order”.
Rock Hard then joined the
proceedings and provided testimony from international experts on the
composition of cement and its classification, and the interpretation of the
Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding System on which the CET is based. After
that testimony, TCL and the CARICOM Secretariat argued that the matter of
classification falls within the remit of COTED and should be decided by that
Last month, COTED concluded that Rock Hard Cement was correctly classified as ‘other hydraulic cement’ which attracts the zero to five per cent duty under the CET. However, the CCJ had still been required to give a final ruling on the matter, which it did yesterday.
PAHO Warns of Complex Dengue Situation in the Caribbean
WASHINGTON, United States, Tuesday August 20, 2019 – The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has warned of the complex situation of dengue in Latin America and the Caribbean, which is currently experiencing a new epidemic cycle of the disease after two years of low incidence.
the latest PAHO epidemiological update, during the first seven months of 2019,
more than two million people contracted the disease and 723 died. The number of
cases exceeds the total number of cases reported in 2017 and 2018, although so
far, it remains lower than the number recorded in 2015-2016.
is experiencing a new epidemic cycle of dengue, with a notable increase in
cases,” said Dr Marcos Espinal, Director of PAHO’s Department of Communicable
Diseases and Environmental Determinants of Health. The climate, environmental
management and the mosquito’s capacity to adapt may have caused the situation
to increase in complexity.
characteristic of the current epidemic is that children under the age of 15
appear to be among the most affected. In Guatemala, they represent 52 per cent
of total cases of severe dengue, while in Honduras, they constitute 66 per cent
of all confirmed deaths. According to Dr Espinal, this may be due to the fact
that their age means they have been less exposed to the virus in the past and
may therefore lack immunity.
caused by a virus that has four different, but closely related, serotypes:
DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3 and DEN-4, all of which circulate in the Americas. When a
person recovers from the infection, he acquires lifelong immunity against that
particular serotype. However, subsequent infections caused by other serotypes
increase the risk of acquiring more severe forms of dengue. Serotype 2 is one
of the deadliest and is the one currently affecting children and adolescents.
countries currently most affected by dengue, in terms of new cases per 100,000
inhabitants, are Nicaragua, Brazil, Honduras, Belize, Colombia, El Salvador,
Paraguay, Guatemala, Mexico and Venezuela. Honduras and Nicaragua have already
declared national-level epidemiological alerts this year to expedite the
A call to eliminate mosquito breeding
sites in and around houses
situation, PAHO has already urged the entire community and all sectors of
society to work together to eliminate mosquito breeding sites, particularly
those around the home.
“Dengue is a
domestic and community sanitation problem,” said José Luis San Martin, PAHO’s
Regional Advisor on Dengue. “The most effective way to combat it is to
eliminate its breeding sites in order to prevent the mosquito from reproducing
because without mosquitoes there would be no transmission of dengue.”
San Martin the community as a whole must get rid of all unused objects where
water can accumulate, such as drums, old tires, cans, bottles and vases.
Domestic water tanks must be hermetically sealed to avoid them becoming
hatcheries would hit the mosquito hard by interrupting its breeding cycle,
therefore reducing the mosquito population,” he said.
Priority: saving lives
also called for health professionals to be trained to diagnose and adequately
manage patients with dengue and other arboviruses such as Zika and Chikungunya.
management of patients is a priority that can save lives,” said San
Martin, urging the population to avoid self-medicating and to instead visit a
health system early when experiencing symptoms of the disease.
common symptoms are high fever (40 °C), severe headache, pain behind the
eyeballs, and joint and muscle aches. Warning signs of dengue that require urgent
medical attention include severe abdominal pain, persistent vomiting, rapid
breathing, bleeding from the mucous membranes, fatigue, irritability and presence
of blood in the vomit.
There is no specific treatment for dengue (or severe dengue), but timely detection, access to medical care and proper management of the patient can reduce complications and disease progression. Death from dengue is almost always avoidable.
Guyanese Teachers to be Trained to teach Venezuelan Migrant Children
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Tuesday August 20,
2019 – Nineteen
teachers will soon begin training which will equip them with the necessary
skills to teach English as a second language to children of Venezuelan migrants
who’ve travelled to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country to escape
hardship in the Spanish-speaking nation.
Government through the Ministry of Education said it has been working with the
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to develop
educational interventions, which will improve the learning and communication
skills of these children. Eight communities in Region One are expected to
benefit from this initiative.
representative on the Multi-Stakeholder Committee, Cecilie Guerrero made this
announcement at yesterday’s stakeholder meeting, which was held at the
Department of Citizenship. The Committee is tasked with monitoring the arrival
of Venezuelan migrants into Guyana.
informed the Committee that 17 teachers from Region One and two from Georgetown
will gather in Mabaruma later this week for the training, which will last until
the end of the month. The two Georgetown-based teachers, she said, will be
trained to be trainers. These teachers will be tasked with training their
colleagues when and wherever the need arises.
Committee was informed too that the Canadian based facilitator, who will be
conducting the training, arrived in Guyana earlier in the day.
So far, in
excess of 800 Venezuelan children are enrolled in schools.
the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is working along with the Guyana
Water Incorporated (GWI) to implement a Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)
project, which focuses on the provision and storage of water, sanitation and
hygiene promotion interventions in six communities in Region One.
As part of
this project, a 100-metre well will be drilled at Whitewater, Region One, to
provide water on a consistent basis to residents. This will complement the rain
water harvesting tanks, water storage facilities and portable water filters,
which have already been handed over to the communities.
Given the positive impacts made in Barima-Waini through the pilot project, the two entities are now looking to roll out the project in Cuyuni – Mazaruni (Region Seven). It will target three communities in its initial phase: Eteringbang, Arrau and Kurutuku.
Humanitarian Assistance to be Scaled-up for Millions of Venezuelans in Need
CARACAS, Venezuela, Tuesday August 20,
2019 – The United
Nations humanitarian wing launched a new Response Plan (HRP) on Wednesday, that
aims to help around 2.6 million people in Venezuela through to the end of the
year, almost half of whom are youth.
the plan “only represents a limited number of all people in need”, the UN
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said that US$223
million was required from donors, to achieve this goal.
effort to coordinate and intensify the ongoing humanitarian response, the plan
aims to significantly mitigate the impact of the crisis on the country’s most
includes 1.2 million girls and boys, in the areas of health, water, sanitation
and hygiene, food security, nutrition, protection, shelter and non-food items
and education,” Peter Grohmann, Humanitarian Coordinator for Venezuela, said in
the strategy’s foreword.
first half of 2019, the UN set up a coordination system to increase
humanitarian response capacities that included national and international
non-governmental humanitarian organizations (NGOs) and the International Red
Cross and Red Crescent Movement as an observer, with OCHA lending overarching
provides an internationally recognized framework for a principled, transparent,
well-coordinated and effective response, targeting the most vulnerable people,”
said the newly designated Humanitarian Coordinator, who leads the humanitarian
country team. “I urgently call on donors to support this plan.”
At the same
time, Grohmann also called on the Venezuelan Government, society and the
international community “to work together and jointly commit to helping
Venezuelans in need of assistance, including by creating consensus on ways to
finance the plan”.
strengthening the capacity of humanitarian organizations and further opening
the operational space in country, the HRP lays the foundation to enlarge its
response next year to reach a larger portion of the population.
While its operational capacities are on target to deliver, the HRP is “modest in terms of responding to the scale of needs”, Grohmann maintained, adding that the plan would be revised and expanded next year, “based on new available information on needs and capacities”.
African News6 months ago
ICT Tenders: Government at work
American Entertainment5 months ago
Chicago Mayor Says City Will Send Smollett Bill for Investigation
News6 months ago
Perimeter fencing to improve safety at Red Bank Primary
Music5 months ago
Christopher Martin – I'm A Big Deal | Official Music Video
News5 months ago
Suspend intended CAL lease of Boeing aircraft, T&T Opposition urges
African News4 months ago
Clashes in Peru coca eradication operation leave at least two dead
Music5 months ago
Cristy Barber from VP RECORDS flys in for Chino Album Launch
Music5 months ago
Sweet Jamaica – the album has landed! Mr Vegas at VP Records Florida