No entry!

BHL warns 70 per cent duty will kill exports

The Eastern Caribbean export markets for potentially nearly a dozen Barbadian products – including those from Banks Holdings – are just about dried up as two more countries have invoked a measure to protect their products.

Chief executive officer of Banks Holdings Limited (BHL) Richard Cozier said St Lucia yesterday slapped a 70 per cent duty on its beers and soft drinks, following on the heels of St Vincent and the Grenadines. He said Grenada was also expected to follow suit shortly.

The BHL boss added that the duty would kill exports of his company’s beverages.

Chief executive officer of Banks Holdings Limited Richard Cozier.
Chief executive officer of Banks Holdings Limited Richard Cozier.

“You can’t get 70 per cent duty and still compete. They had [imposed the tariffs] about a year ago and then they revised it and we started back shipping. Now it is a cause for concern. It means we would have to revise our export plans,” Cozier said.

The Eastern Caribbean countries have joined a growing number of other Less Developed Countries (LDCs) of the Caribbean in invoking the Article 164 Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas that authorizes the suspension of the duty-free access of products from More Developed Countries (MDCs).

The CARICOM Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) agreed to the measure at a 2006 conference.

“St Lucia yesterday invoked Article 164, putting 70 per cent duty on some of our products, so that market has gone to us now. Grenada is about to do it. The OECS [Organization of Eastern Caribbean States] is enacting Article 164 that would limit trade from Barbados in certain categories, especially in beverages . . . Those [OECS] markets would become non-existent now because of the 70 per cent duty,” Cozier stressed.

“CARICOM is divided into Less Developed and More Developed Countries. The Less Developed Countries can ship anywhere free of duty, but for the More Developed Countries, there are certain categories of goods the individuals countries can, if they so desire, enact Article 164. They have not done it for years, but obviously now they have their own challenges. They are doing it, I guess to protect their own manufacturers,” he added.

Cozier said it was too early to provide specific figures or details of how BHL would revise its plans to counter the latest move.

“The other markets are only Guyana where we don’t go for obvious reasons [there is a counterpart beverage company there]; Trinidad, where we want to go but there are obviously cost considerations there; and Jamaica, where shipping is a challenge,” he asserted.

However, Barbados would be affected by the St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada decision beyond BHL as there were a total of 11 types of products currently benefiting from Article 164 treatment.

These are: aerated beverages; aerated waters and other waters; beer; malt; candles of paraffin wax; curry powder; pasta; animal feeds (poultry, pig, other); wooden furniture; solar water heaters; and industrial gases (acetylene, oxygen, carbon dioxide).

Curry powder and pasta were granted five years protection; candles of paraffin wax, seven years; and aerated beverages, aerated waters and other waters, beer, malt, animal feed, solar water heaters and industrial gases were granted 10 years protection.

The agreed tariffs to be applied to these items when imported also vary and range from 30 to 70 per cent.

Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development Donville Inniss could not be reached for comment.

32 Responses to No entry!

  1. Lynn Edwards
    Lynn Edwards April 3, 2015 at 1:57 am

    AND yet we are not protecting our own….. sad.

  2. Cat Rock
    Cat Rock April 3, 2015 at 4:11 am

    So we need to do the same to those countries. The distributor in London is also struggling to get consistent shipments from Banks. If they were truly serious about exporting they would send the good s to the British market were the sales would be definite

  3. jr smith April 3, 2015 at 5:14 am

    What are we jokers, I have never seen no real benefit with Carifta. we should learn from the EEC, the failings. We need to enforce the same restrictions on them , Bajans should pull they fingers out and look beyond the Caribbean.
    The Shanique Jamaican lady case against Barbados, should have showed us who are our real friends.
    Bajans stop behaving like kids ,just fight back.

    • bajanguyster April 3, 2015 at 11:40 am

      well said and so true,that is why these people are killing this country

  4. Rawle Maycock
    Rawle Maycock April 3, 2015 at 5:25 am

    The biggest problem is that our people love other people products, much better than their own.

  5. Tête La
    Tête La April 3, 2015 at 5:46 am

    We embrace and encourage imported items…

    …but all the powers that be in Barbados need to do is impose similar and harsher penalties and duties on those who made it thru business to impose on us

    As for St. Lucia and St. Vincent, let them keep their pop down Heineken and Hairoun, also their plantain, bananas, provisions and everything they have to offer. Do that for 4 months and by month 6 things should be back to normal and in out favour

  6. Anna Bovell
    Anna Bovell April 3, 2015 at 6:00 am

    The problem is that Barbadians would not lash back. If they won’t stand with us, why stand with them ? We are all developing states down here all, spiting each other in the long run is to our disadvantage. We are not each others competition, we must work together to achieve success. They should be placing those tariffs on non- regional products only . We are each other’s first market, then we export to the rest of the world . C’mon now , let that old Earl mentality die. We don’t have to compete with each other to impress anybody .stupse * If they want to start a bloody war , let them have it hear? Not even a lil 10% they slapped on. Stupse* Since we know our Government will never be bold enough to do anything as citizens I guess we must in large numbers choose not to buy anything Lucian made #SadSituation #Heartbreaking

  7. Bobby Gilkes
    Bobby Gilkes April 3, 2015 at 6:15 am

    I guessing nobody ain’t see the part with (LDC) don’t know how ppl can sign a treaty that ain’t equal lol

  8. Santini More
    Santini More April 3, 2015 at 6:20 am

    In reality because the LDCs are using a legitimate trade instrument, our Govt cannot really object too strongly, and even trying to alter this ruling would be a long drawn out process…HOWEVER we the people of Barbados can make a difference. If we all boycott Heineken Beer, Hairouin Beer and any of the major products coming out of St Lucia & St Vincent then trust me people, those countries would come around to being more reasonable…WE THE PEOPLE HAVE THE POWER TO FORCE CHANGE!

    • Bajan to the core April 3, 2015 at 8:27 am

      Absolutely correct Santini More. And while at it, stop drinking Stag and Carib too!!!!

  9. bajan marksman April 3, 2015 at 6:39 am

    How could we do the same thing when we are considered by the Article in the treaty as a more developed country? Barbados development has been our backlash by people in the Caribbean.

  10. Tony Webster April 3, 2015 at 6:48 am

    There is nothing in my super-Trinny-super-massy, that I pick up, and do not check the label, to establish where um is made.
    Wish that some folks hadn’t sold their souls , so I cud have continued buying bajan…in a Bajan Supercentre!! Trinnies got us by the short and curly.

    • david April 3, 2015 at 6:11 pm

      But we still have Jordan’s/Popular/Cherish that are totally Bajan. Go shop there! BTW most of the products you select in any of the supermarkets have distributors based in the twin island state. Unfortunately my friend we are almost doomed.

  11. Alex Alleyne April 3, 2015 at 6:48 am

    Every country under the sun sticking it to BDS because they see us as being “soft”. We have a PM that sit and take it all with a grin . The LIAT saga , and not a word , we got screwed with the CCJ , now its the BHL products . What next ? . BDS import about everything you can think about , what about higher import duties on all those products . We must stick to Countries that stick with us . The USA and IRAN coming together for the good of all , who in their right mind will ever think they would have live to see such .

    • Kevin April 3, 2015 at 1:28 pm

      True, these sort of things wouldnt occur if Owen was in power.

  12. Alex3 April 3, 2015 at 7:04 am

    Get it approved for sale in British Columbia and other Canadian provinces where Banks is not sold currently and I can guarantee that for every dollar you loss to sales in LDCs will be returned 5-10 fold.

  13. Rawle Maycock
    Rawle Maycock April 3, 2015 at 7:05 am

    Put the real pressure on right now! Or imports are killing or foreign reserves, it’s time to fasten your seat belt tight tight! Some of us grewup without, lots of stuff that you the younger folks believe that you can’t do without, we survived without all the trappings an our country flourised it’s time to make a sacrifice for the love of Country.

  14. Rod Vagar April 3, 2015 at 7:49 am

    Not a major issue. Time to look for new markets. I am sure I can find contacts within the distribution companies in many other nations willing to take our internationally awarded product, instead of that swill St. Lucia calls a beer….

  15. Bajan Baz April 3, 2015 at 9:01 am

    These countries are only doing what Barbados does to others, look at the duty charged on vehicles and vehicle parts and many other goods 120% and more and then you get charged duty on shipping cost, and then VAT on top which represents a tax on a tax. As for Banks Holdings look to the UK market, Banks beer sells out as soon as it goes on the shelf, I’m sure the US, Canada and Europe would also increase their sales, if supplies were readily available

  16. Watchman April 3, 2015 at 9:08 am

    Dem already had Banks in Ontario at de LCBO. Normally I would have said that they already tried to sell it in Ontario, but they didn’t try. They just put it in the store using about a foot of shelf space. They in even put up a poster. I asked de manager how long they were carrying it and he said couple months , but it in selling so probably not for much longer. I said well nobody knows that it is here. I bought all 3 six packs that were on the shelf. That night I tipped the delivery driver with 2 of dem. Dat was probably the only promotion done. I went to another store and bought all they had, which was a case and a half.

    Beer is a fiercely competitive market in Ontario. I was walking down s street a lunch time and they were people giving away beer to promote their brand. Another time at a restaurant, same thing. Free beer to promote entry to the market. Banks in even had a poster never mind an advertisement. Clearly they are not ready for the world stage. Guess what, Banks is not at the LCBO any more.

  17. Watchman April 3, 2015 at 9:19 am

    De ting dat is really horrible is dat a man can hear I from Barbados, then tell me that he had a lay over at Barbados airport in 1976 but he didn’t mind cause he had some Banks beer and it was really good and he wishes he could get it here. 30 years after !!!!!!

    If I go out in my Banks t shirt all kind of people who won’t normally say buh to me does be smiling telling me dat is proper beer.
    Banks failed to capitalise. Think they would give 2 wuk ups bout St.Lucia if dem did do a half decent job here ?

  18. Patrick Blackman April 3, 2015 at 9:27 am

    This petty small island mentality is what is killing the region. For some reason each island think that the world sees them individually… god when is this crap going to stop.

  19. Greig Smith April 3, 2015 at 11:00 am

    Doesn’t Barbados do the same to protect Banks Holdings. Last time I checked it was a 125% (approx) to import foreign beer to Barbados, and not even a similar product. Any European products like Guinness Draught, John Smith’s Smooth, Boddingtons, Magners Cider etc I had to pay this huge duty and then the prices were too high.

  20. nedjeh1 April 3, 2015 at 11:31 am

    I am a regular at Q in the community which as far as i understand was meant to be a Bajan bash, it, i also believe is an expression of our Barbadian culture, extending an invitation to all and sundry.

  21. bajanguyster April 3, 2015 at 11:45 am

    why do this government keep letting these countries keep doing these things to the people of Barbados,they say there don’t like us but we keep bringing they shit over and over again here ,people stop fooling your all self we are nobody to these countries

  22. Dougal Bascombe April 3, 2015 at 11:53 am

    Are we really still an MDC? With the rubbish that is going on here I believe we could apply for re-classification as an LDC and avoid this duty.

  23. Louis April 3, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    Banks does not even manage to compete in Barbados. Why are Stag, Caribe, Hairoun cheaper in supermarkets in Barbados (after shipping) than Banks? Get it right at home first, then talk about exporting… The same happens to PineHill products produced in Barbados that are cheaper abroad. When will you treat your own home market in a fair manner?

  24. Ryan Williams April 3, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    I just love CSME……….Lolol

  25. junior lucas`` April 3, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    Only Bajans do not know that Caricom is no help to Barbados, We can stop importing things from St Lucia and st Vincent, no duty only stop and let them come to Christian feeling.All kinds of beverages come here and we cant sell them any.

    Donville cant do anything except to blame civil servants all the time, Politicians sign that deal not civil servants and nowit come back to burn us.

    The sooner Barbados comes out of Caricom, the better.

  26. Maxine Hutchinson April 3, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    Who was it that came up with the idea of CSME? Why? It was a gateway for the non-nationals in the Caribbean to make their entry easier in our land. It was conjured up so that they can come and work for money that was tied to the USA dollar. It was done because they believed that we would never see through the wool that they placed on our eyes. I have been singing the song time and again: “Non-nationals hate Barbadians even by the way we speak”. Why do we keep fooling ourselves that they like us? We allow them to use us for their benefit. We have been playing the part of a jackass for far too long in our relations to those foreigners. Let us accept that they do not like us and do what is in our best interest. They have never been interested in using us beyond that of being something to ride. The products they send to us seem also to be laced with powdered glass (pasta), the sugar is damp and dirty, they bring in insects in their containers for us.

    We have to stop pretending that all will be well and that we are one Caribbean – it will never happen. Let them go to hell!! CSME has opened us up to more crimes, increased and unexplained sicknesses of our people; increased incidents of obeah, death of our people (within 3 years) who marry some of them and a heavy vibration of hatred over us. Ask God to give us all the discerning eye in order to see all that I have stated herein.

    • Cassie April 3, 2015 at 4:49 pm

      I don’t have all the facts but this started with the Federation back in the 70’s with Sir Grantley Adams who represented the planter class of the day.

  27. Cassie April 3, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    Mr Cozier et al, you can say thanks to the BLP for agreeing to the revised treaty of Chaguaramas back in 2005/2006.


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