In last week’s address to the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced that there would be some changes in import duty on packaging materials, aimed at assisting the private sector.
“And the determination to do better is why we will next month be moving legislation in the National Assembly to enshrine the Economic Development Council (EDC). This will make permanent the paradigm of the private sector as an equal consort with Government in the advancement of commerce and industry. To do better is also why Government will, again in May, begin the process of relieving the productive sector of as much as $6.3m in import duties on packaging and labelling materials. Because we need to get CARICOM waivers for some of these reductions, we will start only with the items that do not require those exemptions. But in the end manufacturers and producers of natural juices, various beverages, honey, edible oils, pepper, jam, sauces, wines, condiments, crafts, milk products will all benefit handsomely from what is in effect a targeted tax cut. Indeed, a recent survey showing that this key input is 27% of total product cost underlines the magnitude of the step we are taking.”
It is expected that this legislation will be tabled at the next Sitting of the House of Representatives slated for Friday, May 12, 2017.