NewsRegional CARICOM official warns about duty free access for EU goods by: – July 6, 2012 Tweet Sharing is caring! Share CARICOM official warns about duty free access for EU goods.KINGSTON, Jamaica – Despite recent assurances by Alexander Walford, policy officer in charge of Caribbean-European Union trade relations fears about revenue loss were misguided, Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary General Irwin LaRocque has raised concerns about Europe’s demand to reduce customs duties on their goods coming in to this region.Speaking to the media during a meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, New Kingston, the Guyana-based Secretary General said Caribbean Forum countries (members of CARICOM plus the Dominican Republic) should not sit back and allow the European Union (EU) to push countries into honouring their obligations under the European Partnership Agreement (EPA).Under the agreement, signed in 2008 between the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) and the EU, CARIFOUM countries agreed to start the reduction of customs duties on a number of catergories of Euroipean goods by January 2011. However, according to a report out of Belgium last week, the EU has been growing impatient with the pace at which this is progressing.LaRocque told the media that the CARICOM secretariat was assisting member states of in “getting the correct legislation drafted” but noted that the bigger problem was that member states feared loss of revenue from lowering the tariffs.“But the EU has sounded out and it is an international obligation,” said LaRocque. “It’s an obligation that was entered into by the community by the member states who signed on to the EPA. And the EU has raised it. They have heard of the (fiscal) challenges that are being faced by members. They have not taken any action on it. I think they are making some soundings which we must listen to and be a little more certain in trying to do what we are supposed to do,” he added.He said the secretariat, which has an EPA unit comprised of four highly skilled persons, was “very much involved” in discussions on the reduction in duties and working constantly with member states.“It is an issue that all the member states derive a substantial amount of revenue from their tariffs. That is why in the EPA there is a provision that talks about restructuring your internal taxes, but they are not in tandem with each other. There is a horizon of some longer period to do that,” said LaRocque.Caribbean 360 News 45 Views no discussions Share Share
The Heat suspended guard Dion Waiters for 10 games without pay Sunday in response to an incident last week on a team charter flight.The team said in a prepared statement that Waiters has “engaged in conduct detrimental to the team” in “a number of instances” this season. The latest instance occurred late Thursday as the team was flying from Phoenix to Los Angeles for a game vs. the Lakers. “We are very disappointed in Dion’s actions this season that include the very scary situation on Thursday night, and grateful that the outcome wasn’t worse,” the team said in the statement.MORE: Heat may be stuck with Waiters ESPN reported that Waiters ingested an edible infused with THC, which is banned by the NBA, and then suffered a panic attack during the flight. Waiters received medical treatment after the plane landed, per ESPN’s reporting. Waiters was listed as out with an illness for Friday’s game in LA, and he has not played at all for the Heat this season.The Heat said Waiters’ suspension is retroactive to the game vs. the Lakers. He will be eligible to return for Miami’s game vs. the Nets on Dec. 1. The Associated Press reported that Waiters will forfeit $834,483 in salary. “We expect all of our players, including Dion, to conduct themselves in accordance with the highest standards, and to show professionalism and respect for their teammates, the team, the fans and the NBA community,” the Heat said. The suspension also guarantees that Waiters will not collect a $1.1 million bonus for games played this season. Waiters needed to play in 70 games in 2019-20 to be eligible for it. He can now play in 64 games at most this season.Miami reportedly has been trying to trade Waiters for months. Aside from discipline issues (he was suspended for Miami’s opening game this season, also for conduct detrimental) perhaps giving teams pause, Waiters’ contract runs through the 2020-21 season. He was due $12.1 million this season and is scheduled to make $12.7 million next season in the final season of a four-year, $52 million contract he signed in 2017.
The 40,000 member National Customs Brokers Association of Liberia (NCBAL) has partially ended its strike action, resumed work and will likely reach an agreement today, with the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA).The president of NCBAL, Ivan J.F. Tumbey, said the NCBAL recently halted its protest to negotiate and reach a compromis after several appeals from stakeholders, including Grand Bassa County District # 5 Representative Robertson N. Siaway, the Managing Director of the National Port Authority, Matilda Parker and Commissioner Dorbor Jallah of the Public Procurement and Concessions Commission (PPCC).Mr. Tumbey said the association was advised to negotiate in the national interest instead of engaging in further confrontations.In an exclusive interview with the Daily Observer over the weekend, Mr. Tumbey said that at the top of NCBAL’s agenda in today’s meeting is tackling the additional fees on the Clean Report of Findings (CRF) and collecting fees of US$50 per 20-foot container and US$100 per 40-feet container for scanning of Pre-Shipment Containers (PSI) when in fact the scanner is not functioning.Tumbey maintained that the unnecessary additional fees are disturbing and the NCBAL wishes that the LRA should stop such charges until the scanner is functional and the charging power is renegotiated.When asked whether they would resume their strike action if the LRA did not stop the additional fees on the Clean Report of Findings (CRF) and containers, Mr. Tumbey said the question was out-of-order because the LRA boss, Mrs. Elfrieda Tamba, is an honorable woman and woman of her word.“I don’t think Madam Tamba will allow us to choke the budget, the economy and international trade…..because she is an honorable woman,” Mr. Tumbey said.It may be recalled, on Monday, February 2, the customs brokers staged a nationwide strike disrupting clearing of imports at the nation’s seaports, airports and borders, depriving the government of millions of dollars in tax revenues.The NCBAL which contributes nationwide US$2m daily into government coffers has a list of complaints that have so far not been addressed by the LRA or the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning.The Customs Brokers cited unlawful, illegal and unjust collection of taxes from members of the business community by LRA, among other criticisms, and threatened to continue the strike until their terms are met.During the strike action, the Daily Observer gathered that clearing of imports had slowed down denying the Liberian Government of millions of dollars from tariffs and other import charges.The major ports of entry affected include the Freeport of Monrovia, the Port of Buchanan, the border points in Cape Mount and Lofa Counties as well as the Ganta entry point in Nimba County.Mr. Tumbey said besides the additional fees on the Clean Report of Findings (CRF) and collecting fees of US$50 per 20-foot container and US$100 per 40-feet container, the LRA has appointed additional assessors to already assigned assessors at the DI-sites at the Freeport of Monrovia to re-appraise all cargos, a procedure which he said is outside of the agreement signed between BIVAC and GOL.Only BIVAC is authorized to appraise all cargos at the country of origin, using all of the internationally accepted procedures, according to the agreement between GOL and BIVAC.Mr. Tumbey further alleged that Customs Officers of the LRA and employees of the Ministries of Commerce & Industry and Finance and Development Planning are engaged in Clearing and Forwarding while at the same time carrying on their normal government functions.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)