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Story Highlights

  • The Caribbean region will be moved from Band C to Band B in the UK Air Passenger Duty (APD) rankings with effect from April 2015.
  • Minister Nicholson described the announcement as “a victory for the economic diplomacy of Jamaica and the entire Caribbean region”.
  • The APD campaign was re-energised over the past 2 years with the establishment of a CARICOM High-Level Committee.

Senator the Honourable Arnold J. Nicholson, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, is pleased to advise that following years of representation by Jamaica and CARICOM countries about the UK Air Passenger Duty (APD), the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced today during his Budget presentation that the Caribbean region will be moved from Band C to Band B with effect from April 2015. By doing so, it will put the region in the same Band as travellers to the United States of America.

Minister Nicholson described the announcement as “a victory for the economic diplomacy of Jamaica and the entire Caribbean region”.

The APD campaign was re-energised over the past 2 years with the establishment of a CARICOM High-Level Committee, co-chaired by H.E. Mrs. Aloun Ndombet-Assamba, Jamaica’s High Commissioner in London. The Committee comprised select CARICOM High Commissioners, the Caribbean Council as well as representatives from the private sector. A CARICOM Coordinating Committee of Caribbean nationals in the UK was also re-established to raise awareness about the issue in the community.

In an effort to get the UK to reconsider its approach to the APD, the campaign was extended by Jamaica and fellow CARICOM countries to other members of the Commonwealth. This culminated in Caribbean delegations to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, including Jamaica’s delegation led by Senator the Honourable A. J. Nicholson, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, being able to secure the commitment of the UK Foreign Secretary that the concerns of the region would be further considered and an undertaking given that a statement would be made either in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement in November or in the Budget in March 2014.