Anthony Phillip, Chairman of the West Indian Tobacco Company (WITCO), said he was not really surprised by government’s increase on customs and duties on cigarettes.
During Monday’s Budget presentation, the Finance Minister remarked that there is a need to curb the consumption of Tobacco.
He said: “We will increase excise duty by 20 per cent on locally manufactured tobacco products, we will increase customs duty by 20 per cent on imported tobacco from the Common Market Origin and we will adjust the customs duty payable on tobacco products imported into Trinidad and Tobago from extra-regional sources to have it receive equal treatment to that of the common market.”
Phillip said “Cigarettes is an excisable product and when it comes like this, it is never really a surprise, it just means we have to make adjustments in our business to make sure that we look after the stakeholders’ interest.”
The measures on cigarette take effect from October 20, 2020, and Philips said: “WITCO is a very resilient company and we adhere to all the laws of the land and we always respect the views of the government.”