Zero Import Duty For 21 Essential Categories

September 30, 2022 | 15 Comments

The Customs Tariff Amendment [No.3] Act 2022 ”reduces the rate of import duty to zero for 21 categories of essential goods,” the Government said today, with the goods including items such as certain foods, laundry detergent, dish detergent, diapers, and feminine supplies.

A Government spokesperson said, “As first promised in July, Premier and Minister of Finance David Burt today introduced legislation to drop duty rates on a list of 21 essential goods. The Bill tabled today is the Customs Tariff Amendment [No.3] Act 2022 [PDF].

Premier Burt said: “Since the House rose just before Cup Match, we have been working on concrete measures to address the cost of living. As I said then, the cost of food is increasing and the Government is committed to reducing the price for essential goods that many families must buy weekly.”

“This legislation reduces the duty on these items to 0%, and that reduction will serve to reduce costs to consumers. Critically, we have not just applied this to food but also to diapers for babies, laundry and dish detergent and feminine products like pads and tampons.”

“The Bill reduces the rate of import duty to zero [0%] for 21 categories of essential goods as follows: ground beef; chicken [fresh, chilled or frozen]; turkey [fresh, chilled or frozen]; butter; processed cheese slices; cheddar cheese; green beans; fresh bananas; pepper; cooking oil; tuna [canned and dry packed]; pasta; bread [fresh or chilled]; jam; peanut butter; tomato ketchup and other tomato sauce; bath soap bars; laundry detergent; dish detergent; diapers for babies; and sanitary towels [pads] and tampons.

Premier Burt concluded: “Bermudian families are working hard to make ends meet, and the Government has a responsibility to deliver relief to support the people. Grocers, retailers and wholesalers have been collaborative and continue to work with the Cost of Living Commission in this effort, and I truly thank them. This is another step in providing assistance to the community and keeps the promise the Government made to provide relief in key areas.”

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Comments (15)

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  1. Vortex says:

    Processed cheese, ketchup and peanut butter, and 5 minutes ago we had a sugar tax.

    This Government does not know what it is doing.

  2. Think says:

    Weak. Lower or remove the duty for fuel so consumers can afford to drive to work and pay their electric bills.

  3. Burtcoin says:

    All this means is that the grocery stores will make more profit because consumer affairs doesn’t check for price gouging

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      Checking for “price gouging” is not part of the responsibility of Consumer Affairs and it has no power to alter the price any shop charges for anything.

  4. Unknown800k says:

    All of a sudden because Ernie and burts jobs are being challenged they come up with all this fluff fluff.
    Most egotistical worst premier Ernie and Burt episode ever.

    Can’t wait to see when they issue multiple taxis under one permit when the cars be parked all over the place, egomeir takes us from the 4th world country he’s put us in to the 5th world.

  5. Micro says:

    So we can reasonably expect the cost of these items to go down at the stores? Doubt it, but hopeful.

  6. Mark says:

    Wonder what the duty was in these items before. I think some of them may have already had zero duty or lower duty. Don’t think this will actually mean savings and is just a political stunt.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      For the most part duty has been reduced from 5% to 0%. In some cases the rate of duty was already 0%.

  7. He has got to go! says:

    JAM is an ESSENTIAL item! SMH no wonder we have a health crisis and it wasn’t caused by COVID!!! Essential items, OMG consult a dietician Mr. Premier. Where are the vegetables? Let’s see: Bread with butter and jam – well that’s a healthy lunch. Might taste well but it sure isn’t healthy. Managing our finances is similar to managing our food intake; what is healthy and wise isn’t always what is good for us!

    On another note, if I make my own jam I pay sugar tax on the sugar, but if I buy jam made with sugar from Smuckers no sugar tax?

    Did I hear someone say there is an election where only a few folks vote for our Premier? So this platform is aimed at the PLP delegates? Insulting! Delegates you are smarter and wiser, don’t be fooled!

  8. Listen says:

    Cost of living isn’t just about food and oil prices! What about these rediculous astronomical rental prices for apartments and homes that smash all of your income!??? Especially when weighed against a ridiculous minimum wage!???

  9. This legislation reducing tariffs on selected items, requires some tweaking in order to achieve it’s financial aims while it could also offer some health benefits. Why not reduce the tariff on good oils but leave in place pre-existing tariffs on oils containing trans fats. Some vegetable oils are just not healthy, so keep the tariff on them. Jams containing a lot of sugar should come off the list in favor of those with less or no sugar. And what about green leafy vegetables, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach etc. when there is no conflict with local production, if they are not already tariff free. Honey and maple syrup could be on the list as they have a lower glycemic index than white sugar. The law could offset the revenue loss by increasing tariffs on high fructose syrups.

    • Loquat tree says:

      There needs to be a requisite that these lower duties are passed on to the consumer on the healthier items, or stores may just average the benefit out.

  10. Fisherman says:

    What about fruits and vegetables?

  11. I'm just saying says:

    That is only going to increase the local food producers profits because they are not going to lower their prices. They will blame it on the cost of labor.

  12. Observer says:

    Buying votes, are they?

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