Effective January 1, a 20 per cent Common External Tariff [CET] will be applicable to the importation of lithium-ion batteries from outside the CARICOM region.
In that connection, Jamaica's request for the continued suspension of a tax on local imports of nine renewable and energy efficient technologies, including lithium-ion batteries from outside the region has hit a snag.
At a meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development in November, Jamaica requested that the suspension of the tax be kept in place for another two years, from January 1, 2024 to December 31, 2025.
The current two-year suspension of the CET is due to end December 31.
But, a Barbados-based company has objected to the Government of Jamaica's application of the suspension of the tariff on lithium-ion batteries, indicating, through the Barbados Government, that it produces the type of batteries being requested for CET suspension.
Jamiaica's Ministry of Science & Energy says it is working with the Industry Ministry to assess the Barbadian company's Certificate of Origin, as well as its ability to meet the specifications and provide the quantities required by Jamaica's renewable energy sector.
Additionally, the Jamaican Government says the company from Barbados has since been requested to furnish a copy of its Certificate of Origin and other pertinent details related to its battery specifications and production capacity by no later than Friday, January 5, 2024. This, it says, will allow for the preparation of the GOJ's response to the Council for Trade and Economic Development.
The Industry Ministry says local renewable energy stakeholders should remain guided by the Jamaica Customs Agency, adding that only lithium-ion batteries imported for use in solar applications will be exempt from GCT.