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HomeNewsLocal NewsA decline in imports affects the St. Kitts and Nevis economy

A decline in imports affects the St. Kitts and Nevis economy

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By Eulana Weekes

St.Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The Assistant Comptroller at the Customs and Excise Department, Mr. Deslie Greenaway, a guest on the January 19 edition of ‘Working For You’, addressed the rise in the cost of freight and impacts felt by Customs during the Pandemic. 

According to Greenaway, Customs is mandated by law to pick up revenue for the Government, but this has been negatively impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic.

“In 2018, just a comparison, we had imports valued to the tune of over 877 million dollars. Now, compared to 2021, we are seeing that drop by over 200 million dollars. We have had value imports of up to 647 million dollars.

In speaking to a representative of one of the supermarkets, Greenaway said, it was revealed that before the pandemic, freight on a twenty-foot container averaged between 4000 and 6 000 EC dollars and a forty-foot container valued between EC 10 000 and 12 000 dollars. However, during the pandemic, the freight has increased; where a 20-foot container costs between 8 000 and 10 000 EC dollars and a 40-foot container costs between 12 000 and 15 000 dollars; adding that the cost is ultimately passed down to the consumer.

The Assistant Comptroller explained that a decline in imports has led to a fall in revenue; thus affecting the economy of St.Kitts and Nevis. As it relates to the forecast for the Customs Department, he said that the Government has set its financial targets and they will try to reach those targets, considering that the Government has to take care of its business.

Knowing that the Private Sector also needs revenue, Greenaway suggested that both parties sit and have some sort of dialogue, geared towards finding a balance.

 

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