Legal battle looms between British and Caribbean governments over APD for Caribbean holidays
Trouble could be brewing between Caribbean governments and the British government over discrimination accusations and violation of existing legal agreements in regards to maintaining the level of Air Passenger Duty for Caribbean holidays.
Caribbean governments may be forced to take legal action against the British government on the basis of discrimination and the violation of existing legal agreements over the level of Air Passenger Duty (APD) enforced on travellers departing UK airports.
During last month’s Budget statement, the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, announced that the British government will be freezing Airport Passenger Duty for 12 months.
Caribbean governments were hoping that the APD would be scrapped completely but instead, Osborne stated that the freeze would apply to the current level of APD while indicating that the tax could increase even more next year.
During his speech, Osborne said that the high level of APD was having a significant effect on the spending habits of UK residents, with many UK travellers being put off booking Caribbean holidays due to the high APD costs.
The Caribbean governments’ argument is that Osborne failed to recognise the impact the high APD is having on the Caribbean tourism sector and region’s economy.
APD was first established in 1994 and since its introduction the government has increased this tax by a staggering 2,600 per cent, with passenger departing UK airports for holidays in the Caribbean paying considerably higher APD tax than tourists travelling from airports in neighbouring countries.
Lolita Applewhaite, the acting Secretary General of CARICOM, recently voiced her concerns over the UK’s APD, saying: “We view the APD as discriminatory against Caribbean destinations and Caribbean people living in the United Kingdom seeking to travel to the region.”
The British government created four bands from A to D, with A being the cheapest and D the most expensive. Caribbean countries were placed in Band C, despite holidays to the Caribbean departing from the UK being closer in distance than many of the journey to some of the countries which were categorised in Band B.
Osborne added in his statement: “In the meantime, we are consulting today on how to improve the existing and rather arbitrary bands that appear to believe that the Caribbean is further away than California.
“We hoped we could replace the per passenger tax with a per plane tax. We have tried every possible option, but have reluctantly had to accept that all are currently illegal under international law.”
Talk to a specialist
Call 020 7644 1770 to speak with our award-winning travel consultants.
Opening hours 09:00 - 21:00 GMT
Popular Holidays In Caribbean and Costa Rica Browse all
Enjoy the exciting nightlife the Melia Marina Varadero Hotel has to offer, whilst relaxing during the day in the beautiful accommodation
- Virgin Atlantic Sale, huge reductions sale ends 29th May 2017
- Incredible all-inclusive benefits with dining at 9 restaurants at Melia Marina Varadero Hotel
- Book now and get a free upgrade to the sea view at Melia Habana - limited availability
- Melia Marina Varadero Hotel is ideally located 300m from the beach in an ecological reserve with a dolphinarium and caves to explore
- Excellent watersports facilities including yachting, fishing and diving
A couples' special - enjoy the perfect mix of history, local culture and laidback beach retreat for the perfect romantic Cuban experience.
- Enjoy all kind of the Spa treatments, water and land sports at Blau Varadero
- Fantastic views to the ocean from the modern and elegant rooms with balcony or terrace
- The perfect location of Blau Varadero beside the pristine sandy beach
Use up to $2000 resort credit to indulge in spa treatments, golf sessions or a selection of excursions that will make your Cancun holiday truly unforgettable.
- Duran Duran in concert at Moon Palace on 29th December (tickets additional cost)
- Winner of the Trip Advisor 2015 Travellers Choice Award
- Enjoy the impressive $2000 Resort Credit per booking that you can spend on golf, spa treatments, dolphin swims, visit to Chichen Itza, Express Tour of Tulum, Family fun days out at the Wet 'N' Wild Waterpark and much more
- Whether you are looking for an active holiday or a relaxing break, Moon Palace Resort is an ideal destination for travellers of all ages
Combine colourful and vibrant Havana with a relaxing summer 2017 beach holiday in an award winning resort on the shores of Varadero
- Book early and benifit from huge early bird summer discounts!
- Discover Havana by day visit the historial sites and by night you can listen to live music or dance to the Salsa beat
- Enjoy complimentary pool-based dive courses on offer for beginners and experience one free daily dive at the Royalton Hicacos
- Three freshwater pools including four whirlpools and signature swim-up pool bar at Royalton Hicacos ensure an unforgettable holiday
Varadero is a showpiece of Cuba's natural beauty; stunning white beaches, turquoise waters and clusters of lofty palm...
Get the best of Havana and Varadero with this fabulous combination of city and beach in two of Cuba's finest hotels, the...
If you want to really feel Cuba's beating heart and pulsating rhythms, this is one of the best for an unforgettable...
Searching for a charming beach retreat with a twist? Why not head to Cuba and enjoy a stunning all-inclusive beach...
This 1920s colonial house is surrounded by lush vegetation and terrace areas and boasts a stunning array of antiques,...