Statement from The Ministry of Finance on comments made by Sir John Compton with respect to duties on packaging material used in the Banana Industry
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The Department of Economic Affairs in conjunction with the Customs and Excise Department have thoroughly researched the duties related to imports and raw materials for agricultural purposes; which specifically includes for banana production.

The consumption Tax Order makes provision for the exemption of consumption taxes on imports for banana production under the Second Schedule of Consumption Tax Amendment Act of 1988. This was a narrow provision since it only specified airline related products. However, Cabinet by Conclusion No. 904 of October 11, 2004 approved a specific list of products which was revised and extended in 2005, by Conclusion 227B of March 21, 2005.

This list is extensive and covers forty-one (41) specific items ranging from raw materials and fertilizers to packaging material.

With regard to the Environmental Levy, Statutory Instrument No. 101 of 2000 clearly exempts all raw and packaging material imported for use in the banana industry from the payment of the levy.

As a further safeguard, the Customs Act No. 63 of 1990, section 76 gives Cabinet the authority to refund any duties which were levied in error. As a result the statements made by Sir John in that regard are factually inaccurate.


July 14, 2005.


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