Local Tariffs on Sugary Drinks and Single-Use Plastic Go Up as Sanitary Pads & Food Supplements Go Down

Women's Haven sanitary products

Get ready to pay more for sodas and food in disposable containers as the Government of Montserrat has increased the Customs Duties, effective April 12, 2021, in an effort to deter their usage.

At the same time, sanitary napkins now have a 0% rate and the tariffs for natural drinks, health food supplements, live farm animals, and most items of clothing have been reduced..

According to a release, the new tariff rates took effect under S.R.O. 27 of 2021 Customs Duties and Consumption Tax (Amendment of Schedules) Order. The new tariff rates have therefore now increased for some goods and decreased for others.

Cabinet has decided to decrease the tariff rates on the importation of the following goods:

1. Pure natural juices- As a healthy alternative to the mostly sugary drinks. Customs Duty reduced from 15% to 10% and 5% in some cases.
2. Health food supplements. – to encourage persons to consume healthy foods- The consumption tax on health food supplements has been reduced from 15% to 10 %

3. Live farm animals – in an effort to promote the livestock and animal husbandry industry on Montserrat. Consumption tax reduced from 15% to 5%

4. Most items of clothes – To reduce the cost of clothing on Montserrat. Custom duties has been reduced from 30% to 20%
5. Sanitary Products (pads and tampons)– No customs duties will be applied. From 20% Customs Duties to 0% Customs Duties.

The Government has increased the tariff rates for the importation of the following:
a. Single use plastic bags, single use food containers, Styrofoam food and drink containers and drinking straws – for a period of one year after which they will be “banned” from importation into Montserrat. The rate has increased to 50% consumption tax in some cases, from 15% consumption tax.
b. Sugary drinks- This is in an effort to discourage persons from selecting sugary drinks as their preferred drink of choice, and hopefully encourage them to choose healthier alternatives. – Increased from 15% Customs Duties to 50% Customs Duties in some cases.
c. Tobacco Products – to deter persons from smoking and to encourage them to adopt healthier habits. Increased from 40% Consumption Tax to 50% consumption Tax.

The April 12, 2021 date of effect for the new tariff rates coincide with the date at which the Montserrat Customs and Revenue Service (MCRS) started using the most recent version of the HS Code; the code for the international classification of goods. This will make the customs clearance process much more user friendly for users of ASYCUDA; The Automated System for Customs Data is a computerized system designed by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development to administer a country’s customs.

In December 2020 the Customs Division of the MCRS updated the old version of the ASYCUDA World system to the most recent version and since the system was also being updated to the new Customs HS Code, which was implemented on April 12, Cabinet used the opportunity to also implement the tariff rates adjustments at the same time.