CARICOM considers imposing travel fee

Prime Minister Keith Rowley.

CARICOM is considering attaching a fee to the airline and cruise ship tickets of tourists to help fund regional security institutions.

Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Rowley made this disclosure during a press conference at the VIP Lounge at Piarco International Airport after his return from the 40th meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government in St. Lucia recently.

He said that many nations had difficulty keeping up with required payments for regional security organizations like IMPACS (Implementing Agency for Crime and Security).

Rowley noted that IMPACS staff has not been paid even though they are at work.

He said Trinidad and Tobago pays an estimated $10 million to IMPACS annually as one of the larger countries of CARICOM.

Rowley admitted that many of the CARICOM states were facing economic difficulties and as such the fee, first nominally placed as US$5 was proposed.

The prime minister said many member states did not agree with the fee, which was eventually reduced to US$2.

“We took a decision that countries should be allowed to make that decision at the national level and that the matter would be discussed further,” said Rowley.

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