JAM | Feb 10, 2024

Manufacturing changes coming to Blue Power amid adverse CCJ ruling

/ Our Today

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(Photo: Facebook @BluePowerJA)

Durrant Pate/Contributor

Changes are coming to the manufacturing processes of Blue Power Group, one of Jamaica’s biggest and a major player in the regional soap market, as a result of last week’s adverse ruling by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).

The CCJ ruled against Jamaica in its long running trade dispute with Dominica over its soap duty regime, which allows local manufacturers to import raw material used in production to be imported free of duty. However, the CCJ ruled against Jamaica declaring that key raw material imports would attract a 40 per cent duty.

In responding to the adverse ruling, Blue Power hinted at changes as a result of the ruling, so that the company can maintain its markets and profitability over time.

“There will however be no change to the core operating principles of the Blue Power Group,” the company said a notice to stakeholders.

Intended changes not spelt out

The intended changes weren’t spelt in the notice but the main change would be the sourcing of raw material for the production of soaps, as Blue Power looks for cheaper inputs allowable within the CARICOM duty regime.

In the meantime, Blue Power is emphasising that it is engaged in the production of high quality soaps for market leading brand owners and distributors as well as consumers in Jamaica.

“We are a reliable supplier, and we offer competitive products. We always comply with the trade policy and trade rules applicable to Jamaican manufacturers,“ the group argued.

The JSE junior market-listed company notes that the case that was made by the Government of Jamaica before the CCJ was intended to support Jamaican manufacturing and the Productive Input Relief legislation, arguing that “this legislation is extremely important to Jamaican manufacturers and Jamaica was right to defend the use of this legislation by soap manufacturers.” 

The ruling against Jamaica was in favour of the claim by DCP Successors Limited (DCPS) out of Dominica against Kingston. The court ruled that a duty exemption could be possible if a case was made that there was an insufficient supply of imports from Dominica or from within CARICOM.  

The court did not accept arguments put forward by Jamaica that DCPS soap products were unsuitable for Jamaica because they were said to be rancid or of poor quality. Blue Power Group was not a party to this lawsuit but supported the position of the Jamaican government.


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