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Aug 25, 2023

B.C.C.I. Calls For Tax Reform

The discussion surrounding the high cost of goods in stores rages on. Last night, we showed you what the Government of Belize is doing to address the situation through the Supplies Control Unit. We also told you why the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Belize Chinese Association are not pleased with the government’s approach. They are asking G.O.B. to delay the rollout of its measures until some of their concerns are addressed. Among those issues are the expenses that importers are faced with at the port of entry. According to Marcelo Blake, the President of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the high cost of goods on the shelves is a reflection of high taxes that importers are paying to bring their items into the country.


Marcelo Blake

Marcelo Blake, President, Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry

“What is happening at the end of the day there is a picture being painted that in fact businesses are taking advantage when that is not the case. At the end of the day your cost of acquiring a product is dependent on which you are purchasing it from, meaning overseas. We are a heavy import country, so whoever we are buying I from, the supplier the manufacture has a price that is set, then you have to add freight or insurance, your landing here in Belize and then you have duties and that is part of a conversation that we have not had the opportunity to have it with the government, looking at tax reform, meaningful tax reform, because at the end of the day that is one of the way the government can contribute in reducing the price of those goods, because as we have published and we can share that list again, there are some items on that list that has duties, there are items on there that have RRD and all of the items for the most part with the  small exception of a few, carry GST. So those are levels and levels you can add together that are contributing to the higher price on shelf.”

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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