Senegal suspends tax on imported sugar

The Senegalese Ministry of Finance and Budget has asked Customs to suspend for 45 days, the application of the cyclical…

The Senegalese Ministry of Finance and Budget has asked Customs to suspend for 45 days, the application of the cyclical tax in response to the inflation of the price of imported refined sugar.By Oumar Dembele

This measure seeks to “mitigate the effect of the combined increase in the cost of sea freight and prices on international markets,” said Minister Abdoulaye Daouda Diallo, reacting to the multiple complaints of the population on the shortage, coupled with the increase in sugar prices.

“Following the request of the Minister of Trade and SMEs, I instruct you to suspend, from August 30 to October 15, 2021, the application of the cyclical tax (TCI) on imported refined sugar,” the minister said in a memo sent on Monday to the Director General of Senegalese Customs.

The institution explains on its website that the TCI “aims to cushion the effects of erratic international price variations of certain products on national production and to counteract unfair practices. It is applicable to products in the sectors of agriculture, agribusiness, such as sugar and vegetable oils, or livestock and fisheries excluding fish and fish products”.

In addition, “the TCI is levied on imports of finished sugar intended for current consumption, when the CIF value (cost of insurance and freight) of this product is lower than the trigger price (set by the ECOWAS Commission)”.

In Senegal, people have been complaining about the high cost of living for some time. 

The Minister of Trade and SMEs, Aminata Assome Diatta, explains however that her country is suffering from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

This is why the prices of basic foodstuffs are rising on the market.

“This pandemic has hit the entire world economy hard and poor countries have not been spared. Our country, Senegal, has not escaped. This situation has resulted, among other things, in a generalized increase of 15 to 20 percent in the price of staple foods such as rice, oil and livestock feed whose raw material (wheat) is imported,” she noted.

To this end she convened on Tuesday in Dakar a meeting of the National Consumer Council to discuss the “situation of prices of consumer products” and “various issues. 

Members of consumer associations, traders, as well as technicians from the Ministries of Finance and Trade, are taking part in the meeting that opened on Tuesday morning.

Local dailies seen by APA on Tuesday have essentially made their headlines on the subject. 

In Vox Populi, the merchants point to the state which is “rolling up its sleeves” in the face of soaring prices.

Le Temoin, on the other hand, says that the sugar shortage was “provoked” by traders. 

Because “in the warehouses of the CSS (Senegalese Sugar Company) 29,000 tons of sugar covering a local consumption of 45 days are currently stored.

However, the chairman of the organizing committee of the Association of Merchants and Industrialists of Senegal (ACIS), Mohamed Seck, maintains that “this situation does not surprise them, having predicted it in July to alert the authorities and call on them to anticipate the possibility of such a situation.”

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