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Feb 2, 2022

B.S.I. Responds to C.C.J. Ruling on Trinidad Sugar Imports

Last night we told you about the legal challenge that Belize brought against Trinidad and Tobago before the C.C.J.  The Government of Belize accused the Republic of importing non-CARICOM brown sugar without applying a forty percent Common External Tariff – a requirement under the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.  This would have severely affected the competitiveness of B.S.I.’s brown sugar in that market.  If the claim was proven, Trinidad would have had to explain.  But the C.C.J. ruled that there were severe shortcoming to the evidence Belize provided in their claim.  B.S.I. played a key role in the hearings and collecting of data.  Today, Communications Director at B.S.I. William Neal commented on the outcome of the legal challenge.


William Neal

William Neal, Communications Director, A.S.R./B.S.I.

“On the one hand, what we were trying to do was to amass enough evidence that would shift the burden to Trinidad. Of course, if you are importing into your country, you control that information. So, at the very start of the case itself, they fought to have information not allowed. They said they couldn’t locate other information, so that was key. We went through international databases to actually prove that these sugars were actually coming into the region. Our Regional Commercial Director, Ruy Martinez, and our VP Mac, did a very good job at letting the judges understand that process and you can look at what is happening within the market to actually understand there are some challenges and obviously the market is distorted. WE could not convince them however, using the information we had. We still have a window of three to five years to re-file the case. I think some lessons were learnt. But, it serves a very important purpose for us. We saw, in terms of market access, from 2019 to 2020 there was a doubling of the amount of sugar sold into CARICOM. And, from 2020 to 2021, there was a doubling again. So, if it was five it went to ten, and then from ten to twenty, which is significant. And, all of that change came after the case was actually filed, which means that people are taking notice. And, for us at BSI we wanted for people to understand that we are going to monitor the market that we have the ability to do that.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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