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JM | Dec 9, 2020

COTED issues adverse ruling on Jamaican soaps

/ Our Today

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

Blue Power says ruling won’t affect its sales locally or exports to non-CARICOM countries

Blue Power product on the store shelf. (Photo: bluepowerja.com)

CARICOM’s Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) has issued an adverse ruling on Jamaican manufactured soaps.

COTED has ruled that Jamaica (Trade Board) should not issue any Certificates of Origin for soaps manufactured under the current manufacturing process in Jamaica. Lack of a certificate of origin from Jamaica may require an importer in a CARICOM country to pay a tariff on imported Jamaican soap.

One of Jamaica’s leading soap manufacturers, Blue Power Group, yesterday advised that it has been notified of the adverse ruling by the relevant government ministries in Jamaica.

RULING WILL NOT AFFECT LOCAL SALES AND CERTAIN EXPORT MARKETS

However, the company, which is listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange, has advised shareholders and other stakeholders that this ruling will not affect the company’s sales within Jamaica and exports to non-CARICOM countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom.

Exports to CARICOM, which is its major market, will definitely take a hit given the additional duties that will be imposed on the Jamaican manufactured product. Only last month, Our Today reported that Blue Power group is facing fierce competition for its products in CARICOM, its main export market.

Blue Power Laundry Soap (Photo: bluepowerja.com)

The situation has got so bad that the company reported lower levels of export sales in its October quarter. This has been compounded by the fact that retail sales for Blue Power soaps in the United States market have been drying up.

EXPORT SALES IN US DRYING UP

Blue Power Chairman Dr Dhiru Tanna pointed to the fact that export sales in the American market have not been doing well with sales drying up. According to Tanna, “we had shipped substantial quantities of soap to the United States in the first quarter in order to meet the demand from new customers such as Walmart”.

Blue Power Chairman Dr Dhiru Tanna.

However, retail sales through these accounts were not sufficient enough yet to justify the same level of reorders. Tanna said that, during the just-ended October quarter, the warehouses of Blue Power American distributors had adequate stocks in inventory.

Tanna is anticipating that, with the hiring of a new sales manager, sales will be improved in the coming months. The company is also pinning its hopes on an uptick in sales in the upcoming Christmas season.

“We will begin the third quarter with the benefit of a sales manager who will help us improve our domestic sales and provide better coordination for export sales as we explore the avenues for the introduction of new products,” the Blue Power chairman advised.

Blue Power Castile (Photo: bluepowerja.com)

For the October quarter, overall sales from continuing operations for the company was $151.99 million, which included the new sources of income not available in the previous year and represented an increase of 35 per cent over prior year.

Profit before tax was $22.38 million, which produced an overall profit of $16.78 million after the deduction of $5.60 million of estimated tax at the standard rate. For the six-month period, profits from continuing operations were $49.89 million, as compared to $51.58 million the previous year.

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