Largest Importer of Beverages Supports Change

GHC Reid is supportive of the government’s move to amend the duty on beer and to tax non carbonated sugary drinks.

A letter from  the Acting General Manager of the biggest beverage importer in the territory Cherith Lober to the Fono said that their company lends 10-0% support to the proposed methodology  of computing duty for beverages.

The bill  changes the tax on beer from 190% to 35 cents per 12 fluid ounce and imposes a 15 cent per 12 oz tax on non carbonated sugary rinks for example teas, juices and energy drinks.

Lober offers that all taxes for beverages should be based on 12 oz volume and not the invoice cost.
She explained that the change means a physical verification of product volume can be justified and checked by customs.

However the cost of product on the invoices can be “under declared: without any verification form the vendor resulting in fraud and less taxes paid.Ms Lober goes on to say, “We truly believe there are a lot of fraudulent sales in out beverage market.  We humbly ask our Fono leaders to help stop this activity and have everyone pay the right taxes.”

The bill was discussed at a hearing of the House Ways and Means Committee today.

Pago Pago faipule Veevalu Meauta Mageo was of the opinion that he Revenue Task Force didn’t take the needs of the consumer into consideration, specially those who go for value rather than premium beers.

He talked about his own beer drinking experience.

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