6 items added to essential commodities list
May 29, 2020
As part of its work, the Food Security Surveillance Committee has expanded on the list of essential commodities to include products that are essential for sanitary and hygiene purposes, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The essential commodities list already consists of the following:
• High Protein Flour
• Milk Powder
• Infant Formulae
• Sunflower Oil
• Toilet Paper
To prevent the spread of the virus through contact, good hygiene has been promoted and even set as policies in government entities (for example in schools). The observance of good hygiene is mostly through hand washing and the use of hand sanitisers.
However, hygiene and sanitary products are not included as essential items and thus are not given priority in terms of foreign exchange allocation. As such, the Committee was tasked with proposing a list of items deemed to be essentials that are not included in the current list.
The proposed list of products to be added as essential commodities were presented to the Cabinet of Ministers’ in their deliberations on 20th May 2020 by the Minister responsible for Trade, which was subsequently approved.
The list of proposed additional items are:
• Detergents (laundry and dishes)
• Sanitary Pads
• Diapers (adults and infants)
The first four products are directly related to hygiene as promoted by Public Health Authority whilst the last two products are essential for the good hygiene of a large number of our population, especially as it is being highly encouraged to go for disposable products to limit the risk of contamination during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
As previously stated, the intention of this addition is to ensure that these products would receive priority foreign exchange allocation from the Central Bank of Seychelles and will not have an impact on taxes applicable, as most of these items are already tax-free.