Following the mid-term review of Lome IV, a new system of import duties for various products, including rice, has been introduced. Variable duties have been replaced with fixed rates which are to be reduced on an annual basis. For the year ending June 30, 1997, the maximum duty on cargo rice has been set at Ecu363.3 (US$290) per ton, and that on semi-milled and milled rice at Ecu572. Instead of the previous 50:50 payment, exporters will now pay 65% of the duty and importers 35%, in a move to increase revenue for the governments of exporting countries.
--while the USA increases sugar import quotas
The US Department of Agriculture has announced world sugar import quotas for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 1996, which for the Caribbean show a 53.6% increase on the quotas announced at the beginning of 1995/96. The latter were increased four times during the year, and the 1996/97 quotas will likewise be enlarged in January, March and May 1997.
US sugar import quotas for Caribbean countries (tons) 1995/96(a) 1995/96(b) 1996/97 Barbados 7,394 12,311 11,359 Belize 11,619 24,524 17,489 Dominican Republic 185,897 350,939 258,588 Guyana 12,675 26,753 19,472 Haiti 7,258 7,258 7,258 Jamaica 11,619 24,524 17,489 St Kitts-Nevis 7,258 7,258 7,258 Trinidad and Tobago 7,394 15,606 11,359 (a) At October 1, 1995. (b) As increased on June 13, 1996. Source: US Department of Agriculture.