Local cement-importing company, Rock Hard Cement has closed up shop in Trinidad.
In a Facebook page, the company, which is owned by the Ramhit family of contractors, said it made the decision to close it doors, following the “continuous challenges” to its doing business in T&T.
They said the initial challenge was in the form of misclassification of its imported cement, which meant it was charged a higher rate of duty than was legally allowed for the cement.
The company said: “We fought this and were again successful, only for the Government to increase the rate of duty by 900 per cent to 50 per cent at the end of 2020 whilst at the same time imposing a quota limiting us to importing only 55,000 tonnes of cement for 2021.
“Unfortunately, the combination of a limit on imports of 55,000 tonnes combined with an import duty of 50 per cent means that Rock Hard Distribution Inc simply cannot operate in Trinidad.”
Rock Hard said it will now pursue opportunities in other Caribbean countries until such time as it is afforded equal treatment in T&T.
“We recognise the immense challenge we took on in entering the cement markets in the Caribbean and in particular Trinidad, but we believe the citizens of Caricom deserve to be treated fairly and to have access to world-class products at affordable prices. We can, however, only continue to operate in those countries across the Caribbean that uphold the principles of fair trade and equality and recognise the rights of all business owners and consumers,” it ended.