GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Monday January 30, 2017 – Consumers in Guyana are bracing for a possible price hike on local and imported beverages this week as the Government’s new $10 tax on non-returnable containers takes effect on Wednesday.
According to the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), the Customs Act provides for the levy to be charged on every non-returnable unit of metal, plastic or glass container of any alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage or water.
“The levy . . . will be applicable to non-returnable units imported, locally manufactured or produced in Guyana,” the GRA said in a statement.
Authorities say the levy is an important move as Guyana transforms into a more sustainable, green economy.
“[It] is in keeping with government’s broad agenda to promote a green economy and protect the environment,” the tax agency said, pointing out that the levy applies across the board, “whether they are imported and not warehoused or imported and removed from a warehouse, factory, bond or other place of storage”.
Exports will however not be subjected to the Environmental Levy.
According to Demerara Waves, the previously imposed Environmental Levy on imported beverages, including those made in sister Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states, had been deemed by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as discriminatory and in violation of regional trade rules, because local companies had not been charged the tax.
As a result, the Surinamese beverage company, Rudisa Beverages and Juices NV secured a CCJ judgment for Guyana to repay US$6 million in environmental tax that had been paid.