JIS News

Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Karl Samuda, has announced that local importers are to benefit from continued suspension of the Common External Tariff (CET), applied to the importation of cement.
Speaking at a press briefing on September 24, at the Ministry’s offices in New Kingston, Mr. Samuda pointed out that agreements have been finalised for the suspension of the CET on cement to be extended for another year, to accommodate the shipment of some 240,000 metric tonnes of the commodity.
He explained that this extension was requested as the previous two-year agreement had expired earlier this month. This agreement allowed for the suspension of the CET on 500,000 tonnes of cement which were imported.
The Minister noted that the suspension of the CET “enabled the importing community to bring cement in at competitive rates and guaranteed Jamaica an adequate supply of the commodity.”
“At the moment, there is no shortage of cement, because the importers have brought in cement and there is an adequate supply,” the Minister affirmed, adding that “they (importers) would not import if we had to apply any form of CET at this time.”
Mr. Samuda added that importation of cement is very critical at this time, as the Caribbean Cement Company Limited (CCCL), would not be in a position to meet the full demand of the country. He pointed out that with the present agreement, “we expect to be in good shape in terms of the supply of cement for the future.”