(CNS): The waiver of import duty on essential products for children, women and adults with medical conditions, including baby food and diabetic supplies, should now begin to impact prices on the shelves. The PACT Government’s decision to cut the 22% duty on a number of items came into effect more than two weeks ago, on Tuesday 23 November, and officials say there will be a noticeable decrease in the cost of these items to importers, which should now be passed on to consumers.
Deputy Premier Chris Saunders, who is responsible for customs, said it reflected PACT’s commitment to support families during these challenging times by ensuring that essential household items are accessible and affordable.
“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause disruptions to transportation, labour and input costs which have been driving the prices of food and other consumables higher,” he said. “In keeping with the PACT Government’s objective of reducing the cost of living, removing import duty on certain essential items will hopefully result in lower prices for the end consumer.”
Government will forego revenue of around CI$2 million for the next two years and an estimated $96,000 for the remainder of this year. Saunders made it clear during the budget debate that this duty cut must be passed on to consumers and that government would take action if retailers are not doing that.
An amendment to section 52 of the Customs and Border Control Act has lifted the 22% duty currently charged on baby formula and food, sanitary towels, pads, tampons, diapers and diaper liners and similar articles, as well baby carriages parts and specialist dietetic food.