CCJ rules in favour of TCL, Arawak in cement war
THE CARIBBEAN COURT OF JUSTICE (CCJ) has ruled in favour of Trinidad Cement Ltd (TCL) and Arawak Cement Ltd in their battle with local importer Rock Hard Cement to have tariffs on imported cement remain at 60 per cent, and not five per cent as argued by the company.
So for now, a rate of 60 per cent will remain on hydraulic cement imported into Barbados.
The case is not over yet, however, with a determination on exactly what classification of hydraulic cement the Barbadian company is importing for its local operations, still pending.
Hydraulic cement is used to stop water and leaks in concrete and masonry structures. It is a type of cement, similar to mortar, that sets extremely fast and hardens after it has been mixed with water.
In a decision handed down, the CCJ rejected intervenor Rock Hard’s application to set aside a decision handed down in July last year, when the regional court ordered Government to restore and enforce the 60 per cent rate which the CARICOM Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) approved in 2001 at the request of Barbados, as a rate higher than the current common external tariff on “other hydraulic cements” imported from outside CARICOM.
“The claimants’ [TCL and Arawak] resistance to the application is well founded. There is no change of circumstances or good and sufficient reason to vary or cancel this court’s order for interim measures,” the regional court decided. “The application [by Rock Hard] is refused.
The costs of this application shall be determined on the resolution of the substantive dispute as to classification.”
TCL and its local subsidiary Arawak Cement Ltd obtained the July order for interim measures in reaction to Rock Hard’s importation of cement from Turkey, and the classification of it as
“other hydraulic cement” and levying a tariff of five per cent. Their underlying claim was that Barbados was obliged to levy a tariff of 60 per cent on the cement imported by Rock Hard, and the island had misclassified extra-regional cement imported by Rock Hard as “other hydraulic cement”.
When contacted yesterday, executive chairman of Rock Hard, Mark Maloney, said it was way too early to make comments. “I prefer not to say anything at this stage. A lot more is still going on, and with courts you never know what the outcome can be,” he added guardedly.
AN ARTIST’S SKETCH of the controversial Hyatt Hotel on which work is expected to begin this month.