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Belize Sugar Industries objects, may challenge new sugar regulations

Posted: Tuesday, May 16, 2023. 9:10 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Belize Sugar Industries Limited/American Sugar Refining has threatened to challenge regulations set to impact its ability to export sugar which will go before the House of Representatives soon.

In a statement, the miller says the Sugar Industry (License to Import/Export Sugar) Regulations 2023, were approved in a May 12 meeting of the Sugar Industry Control Board (SICB). It has described the regulations themselves as “retrograde, unnecessary, burdensome and discriminatory” and the attendant disclosure requirements “unduly intrusive, unreasonable, disproportionate and harmful to BSI’s commercial interests” as only a few industries in Belize require a license to export.

According to BSI/ASR, the SICB will have the power to decide whether a business in in good standing and worthy of a license, and in so doing an opportunity to interfere with private operations. It argues that the Government is essentially seeking means to pry into BSI’s commercial affairs, which it will not tolerate.

BSI/ASR has support from the United Democratic Party (UDP), whose leader Moses ‘Shyne’ Barrow has called the move “arbitrary, dictatorial…a blatant betrayal of its campaign promises to curtail Ministerial control and powers, especially in an instance where the Minister of Agriculture has a possible conflict of interest.” It calls on Government to reverse course and avoid “colossal damage to the sugar industry.”

 

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