Guyana sees T&T’s rejection of milk shipment as an affront to Caribbean Integration Agenda

Guyana sees T&T’s rejection of milk shipment as an affront to Caribbean Integration Agenda

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Guyana has indicated that it has noted the complaint by Demerara Distillers Limited over Trinidad and Tobago’s rejection of a shipment of packaged milk for a distributor in the sister CARICOM state.

In its complaint, DDL said although it met all safety requirements, it was still faced with an “extremely onerous and stringent process” for the importation of animal and animal based products in Trinidad and Tobago, resulting in the country’s rejection of the US$100,000 shipment.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement last evening said under the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, the implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), to which both Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana subscribe, requires free movement of goods and services under the regional integration framework.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry said Trinidad’s refusal of entry to the dairy products wholly produced in Guyana by a CARICOM member state is an affront to the spirit of Caribbean integration agenda and must not be accepted.

According to the Ministry, it understands that regional products must satisfy the necessary sanitary and phytosanitary rules, the technical regulations as well as any product specific rules of origin
required to qualify the products for regional preferential treatment. It noted that based on available information, the dairy products from Guyana were in full compliance with the requirements.

The Foreign Ministry said Guyana remains committed to ensuring that nationals who wish to exercise or take advantage of rights granted by the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas and other regional protocol under the integration agenda, are not unduly restricted.

It also noted that Guyana has opened its market to regional producers, it is expected that market access for products from Guyana into any CARICOM country is guaranteed for full benefits of regional integration to be realised.

At a press conference on Tuesday, the Chairman and CEO of Demerara Distillers Limited, Komal Samaroo, said the rejection of his company’s products is unfair, especially since all requirements were met. He said there must be leveled field when it comes to regional trade.

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