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BSI says greater scrutiny from CCJ case has helped increase regional export

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Posted: Wednesday, February 2, 2022. 11:17 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: While, according to the Caribbean Court of Justice, Trinidad and Tobago nor any other CARICOM country are obligated to buy Belizean brown sugar, they must consider Belize before importing sugar with a 40 percent Common External Tariff (CET) as implemented by the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.

Belize’s case against Trinidad and Tobago was dismissed by the CCJ on Tuesday, ruling that the evidence presented had “severe shortcomings” and was generally insufficient.

But communications director for Belize Sugar Industries Limited/American Sugar Refining (BSI/ASR), William Neal, pointed to an unexpected benefit – sales to CARICOM member states have actually quadrupled since the case was filed in August of 2020.

“The case was filed the third of August, 2020, and immediately following that, there was a doubling of the sugar that we were able to sell into CARICOM – that was for 2020, and then for 2021 we saw another doubling of the sugar – so if it was five it went to ten and from ten to twenty,” explained Neal, who said Belize would not sit idly by and allow market forces to be distorted to prevent Belizean sugar from having a chance at sale in the region, supported by the Sugar Association of the Caribbean (SAC).

Neal added that without “proper policing” in place, the market was subject to abuse – the third-party sources which are recognized globally as sources for information may not have been palatable to the CCJ, but BSI’s point had been made.

 

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