Caribbean Court of Justice rules in favour of Rock Hard Cement in import row

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Trinidad & Tobago: The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has ruled that cement sold by Rock Hard Cement can be classified as ‘Other hydraulic cement.’ As such it is subject to a tariff of up to 5% under Common External Tariff (CET). Rock Hard Cement’s competitor Trinidad Cement and its subsidiaries had been arguing that the company’s products be classified as ‘Building cement (grey)’ and be charged a Caribbean Community (CARICOM) tax of 15% when imported into the region, according to the Barbados Today newspaper. The decision by the court is the latest in a series of legal cases between Rock Hard Cement and Trinidad Cement

However, the CCJ also said that recent developments in the cement industry made it appropriate for a study to be performed by the CARICOM Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) to assess whether the tariff rate for imported ‘Other hydraulic cement’ ought to be increased to give additional protection to regional cement manufacturers so that these manufacturers might obtain an appropriate level of protection. It also recommended greater collaboration between regional cement producers in undertaking global trade commitments.


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