Peru’s Constitutional Court reinstates tariffs on cement imports

Isabel Guerra

Peru’s Constitutional Court (Tribunal Constitucional, or TC) declared that the lawsuit filed by Cementos Lima had grounds and was sustained, and voted for the reestablishment of the 12% tariff for cement.

The court explained that the norm given by the government in October 2007 “affected the principle of equality,” that is, it was discriminatory in favor of some companies.

Attorney Joseph Andrade, from Rubio, Leguía, Normand and Associates, explains that the Constitutional Court considers that the equality in the market of both producers and importers was not respected by the Decree 158-2007-EF, so it should not be applicable.

Andrade thinks that the real issue with this sentence it is not the convenience or inconvenience for certain companies in the sector, but the fact that the Constitutional Court is becoming a activist judge of economic policy, in this case of the tariffs policy.

“Now anyone that may feel affected by a law could react and protest,” says Andrade.

Finance Minister Mercedes Araoz remarks that the sentence issued by the Constitutional Court “undermines legal security and endangers free trade agreements,” adding that that same logic could be used to question the decisions took by the Peruvian state.

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