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Saint Lucia to Revisit Fuel Pricing

THE Government of Saint Lucia has announced plans to assess existing mechanisms to price and tax fuel in Saint Lucia. Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Allen Chastanet announced plans to review fuel import pricing regimes as he delivered the Summary Report on Fuel Margin Variations under the Market Pass-through Pricing System in the House of Assembly yesterday.

The Summary Report gave an overview on how the country priced fuel based on CIF (Cost, Insurance and Freight) prices from 2009 to present and reflected the loss and gains of the importers on Gasoline and Diesel. It also highlighted Saint Lucia’s pricing mechanisms for fuel over the years, changing from a one month, three month then a three week pass through system.

“Given the wide variations in CIF prices, and thus margin gains or losses accrued by the importers (wholesalers), there is a need to revisit or modify the current pricing mechanism such that any potential benefits can be passed onto the consumers and or the State,” noted Prime Minister Chastanet as he read through the summary report.

“As such, the executive branch of the government is of the view that declared/recorded landed CIF prices of fuel products into Saint Lucia by the two main importers may not be the most competitive prices possible.”

Against this backdrop, the Government of Saint Lucia intends to embark on a comprehensive review of the imported prices of fuel into Saint Lucia to investigate whether prices reflect competitive open market fuel prices and to ensure that the lowest prices possible are used and aligned with world oil price and procurement options.

According to the Prime Minister, the review is expected to be undertaken with the assistance of the World Bank and industry experts from international organizations to see how Saint Lucia can adopt best practices to secure more gains for Saint Lucians.

The tabling of the Summary Report on Fuel Margin Variations under the Market Pass through Pricing System is just one of two reports which sought to put into context Saint Lucia’s economic standing in the sector.The Prime Minister also reported on the Excise Tax Revenue on Fuel (Gasoline and Diesel) March 16th – August 30th 2020.

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