This week the price of alcohol and tobacco products swiftly increased as government’s newest revenue generating mechanism come into force.
Additional funds are expected to flow into Government’s coffers from tobacco and alcohol imports thanks to this amendment of the Customs Management and Duties Order, 2010.
Now instead of the fixed price that was stated in the said order — consumers will be paying an across the board percentage. By revising heading numbers 22.03 to 2209.00 of the Act, government essentially changed the duty of Beer and Stout from $1.10 per gallon to 25 percent per gallon.
Various wines which were previously subjected to a $1.20 per gallon duty will now be subjected the new 25 percent duty. In fact the 25 percent duty applies to all alcoholic beverages — from cider to vodka.
Even vinegar and substitutes of vinegar obtained from acetic acid will be charged the 25 percent per gallon duty; whereas vinegar was once billed $0.10 per gallon.
Previously tobacco was subjected to $0.50 to $0.55 duty, now tobacco will be subjected to a 50 percent per pound rate of duty
Since the announcement of the new duty, bar owners and alcohol vendors have publicly stated that they are unhappy with the change, and feel that it will greatly affect their establishments.
Supposedly, the retail prices will not have an immediate effect as the products currently on shelves in the Territory were acquired before the new Order came into force. Some consumers feel that prices will increase in due course.
The Order was made by Premier and Minister for Finance, Dr. Orlando Smith on 29 April with the approval of the Cabinet.