Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
March 10, 2008 (CUOPM)
The Federation’s Prime Minister, Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas has indicated that “national governments have been advised that they should take appropriate action so as to safeguard the interest of their citizens with regards to the price of goods and services.”
“It’s really up to the different governments to apply what I believe would be the right thing after consultations with the private sector and their representatives at the national level,” Prime Minister Douglas is quoted as saying in a news story from Nassau, Bahamas, at the end of the 19th Inter-Sessional Heads of Government Conference, where it was stated that CARICOM Heads have agreed to temporarily suspend the Common External Tariff (CET) to give regional governments the go ahead to drop the duty on some goods in order to help reduce the cost of living in their respective countries.
Meeting in the Bahamas over the weekend, CARICOM heads received the list of items that the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) had approved for suspension of the CET with immediate effect for a period of two years, ending March 4th 2010.
The CET provides a harmonised coding system and a consistent tariff rate structure for the importation of goods from outside CARICOM. It sets minimum and maximum duty rates for all member countries.