Dominican Republic’s Chamber of Deputies advances bill for tariff-free food import in emergencies
Santo Domingo.- The Chamber of Deputies in the Dominican Republic has taken significant steps forward with a bill that would empower the Executive Branch to import food without tariffs in emergency situations or natural disasters. Originally submitted by the Executive on October 3, the bill was declared urgent, approved in its first reading, and has been sent to a committee with a deadline set for this Friday.
The legislation has faced opposition, particularly from the benches of the Dominican Liberation (PLD), People’s Force (FP), and Democratic Option (OD) parties. The PLD and FP blocs demonstrated their disapproval by leaving the chamber during the debates.
The bill specifically addresses legally declared emergency or disaster situations that lead to a shortage of essential goods. In such scenarios, the President of the Republic may authorize the tariff-free import of necessary volumes of goods for up to six months. The aim is to adjust the shortage and stabilize internal product prices, with a focus on not affecting national production.
Initially focused mainly on sugar imports, the bill has undergone revisions. The Permanent Finance Commission, responding to requests from some deputies, agreed to exclude sugar but allowed the import of other food items under this legislation.
A second discussion of the legislative initiative is scheduled for an extraordinary session this Friday at 10:00 AM. The decision to move forward with this bill underscores the government’s commitment to ensuring food security and price stability in times of crisis, while also balancing the interests of national agricultural production.