Sri Lanka protests rise over sudden tea export tax

Feb 01, 2013 (LBO) – Protests over a sudden export tax slapped on tea intensified with a second industry association joining exporters saying the industry was being progressively decimated by authorities. The Ceylon Tea Traders Association, an apex industry association, said a tax on tea has been virtually doubled “like a bolt from the blue” adding to earlier protests by the Tea Exporter’s Association of Sri Lanka.

The CTTA the in 2010 an export cess for packages bigger than 10 kilograms was raised 150 percent from 10 rupees from 4.00 rupees. A tea promotion and marketing levy of 3.50 rupees was also imposed around the time.

“Now, like a bolt from the blue, the Industry has just learnt that, retroactively, with effect from January 23, 2013, the export cess on tea in bulk has been enhanced by a further approximately 100 per cent,” the CTTA said in a statement.

“The total absence of advance notice of this fiscal levy will have serious repercussions on the Export Trade, the Industry at large and the country,” the CTTA said.

“Exporters will be affected to various degrees, depending on the stage at which export commitments are currently placed, as elucidated below.”

The tax has been i