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May 16, 2023

New Sugar Regulations Proposes License for Import and Export of Sugar

The Sugar Industry Control Board has green-lighted a new set of regulations that will require persons to hold a valid license if they wish to import or export sugar out of Belize. Those new requirements have raised the ire of the miller, as well as caneros in the north.  A.S.R./B.S.I. is not required to hold a license to export sugar from Belize; however, the company has issued a release stating that the proposed legislation is retrograde, unnecessary, burdensome and discriminatory.  BSI says it has written to the Ministry of Agriculture and the Government of Belize informing them of its views on the regulations.  News Five has obtained a copy of the proposed Sugar Industry (License to Import/Export) Regulations, 2023. The regulations outline a list of information that an applicant must disclose, including the amount   of certified sugar or other derivatives of sugarcane contracted to be sold for each transaction of exporting sugar, as well as, any premiums or benefits due to each certified producer. According to the document, the Minister or any such persons appointed by him may refuse to grant a license if he is satisfied that the applicant does not meet the necessary requirement. The license, according to the proposed regulation, will be valid for a year. A second document has surfaced from the desk of the Minister of Agriculture appointing S.I.C.B. to issue license to import and export sugar.  According to B.S.I., the new regulations gives S.I.C.B. inordinate and disproportionate power to “interfere with the routine operations of a private sector business, such as deciding whether it is a business in good standing and whether it should be issued with an annual license to export sugar.” Furthermore, B.S.I. says, the requirements outlined in the regulations to obtain the license are “intrusive, unreasonable, disproportionate and harmful to B.S.I.’s commercial interests.”  B.S.I. ended the release stating that the company is examining its options and is considering challenging the validity of these regulations.

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