By Benjamin Flowers
Liquor importers who bring in Whiskey, Gin, Vodka, and Tequila, will now have to pay an additional 25 cents on the market labels for these products according to the Belize Bureau of Standards (BBS).
The Supplies Control Unit of the BBS announced this week that as of Tuesday September 1, the new price for market labels, which prove that importers have followed all import procedures and paid all necessary fees, will be $1.
The SCU explained that the price increase is to cover the production cost of the new labels, which possess enhanced security features.
Rudolfo Gutierrez, consumer protection liaison officer with the BBS, explained that the market labels are a tool to help the BBS with monitoring.
“It’s really a part of the efforts to improve the services to the customers”, Gutierrez said. “To show that people have paid their specific duties on the importation of specific liquors, we have to set up a system to show that they are following the law.”
Importers are required to declare what type of liquor they are importing and apply to the BBS for a market label to be placed on each bottle.
They then pay for the labels at the Treasury Department and the labels are delivered to the Customs and Excise Department once the processing is complete.
While the current price increase applies only to specified liquors, the BBS is preparing to roll out the increase to other imported liquors in the monthsahead.