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
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
Ideal for trendy couples - stay at a chic and sleek hotel in the heart of vibrant Havana and then Stay next to Cuba's famous Varadero beach
- Blau Varadero offers something for everyone with as little or as much as you want to do on offer including a spa
- Exclusive Couples offer - Welcome Cocktail, 1 hour free Wifi Access in Havana plus a bottle of wine on arrival, 30-minute massage and a Romantic Dinner in Varadero
- Be swept away by the amazing views of Havana from Capri's rooftop pool
Discover the relaxing Varadero and sink into sublim tranquillity
- Experience the beauty of Varadero Beach where you can relax and unwind on the tranquil white sandy beaches whilst enjoying the 24-hrs All-inclusive offered at the Luxurious Iberostar Varadero
- Stay in Havana's most highly rated hotel, with an iconic location facing Central Park
- Discover Cuba whilst staying at the 2 Top rated TripAdvisor hotels in Cuba
Indulge in the finer things in life at a luxury five-star retreat and enjoy rocking the night away
- The location on Cancun's tranquil southern shore, provides the perfect rejuivinating base for exploring Cancun.
- The resort is home to one of only two Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Courses in Cancun.
- Enjoy the array of activities including surfing, golf, dolphin swims, tours, spa treatments and much more.
Combine exploring the old dimes of Havana with a refreshing beach retreat in Vardero on an unforgettable twin centre...
If you want to really feel Cuba's beating heart and pulsating rhythms, this is one of the best for an unforgettable...
Discover the cultural and historical treasures of Havana as you're treated to 5-star service at the Iberostar Parque...
Create unforgettable memories at the heart of Barbados' western coast at a collection of one bedroom apartments. Halcyon...
An intimate collection of One Bedroom Apartments located in the heart of the West Coast of Barbados. Travellers Palm...
Beautifully perched on the panoramic Mensura Hill, surrounded by striking greenery, this blessed and secluded natural...