PERMISSION has been granted to six air freight courier companies to file a judicial review lawsuit against the State challenging the implementation of the seven per cent Online Purchase Tax (OPT) which came into effect last October.
Justice Ricky Rahim, presiding at the Hall of Justice in Port of Spain yesterday, granted leave to the companies to challenge the legality of the move without the companies being first consulted.
The companies are Ecouriers Ltd, Websource Company Ltd, Jetbox International Ltd, Aeropost Ltd, CSF Couriers Ltd and Caribbean Shipping Agencies Ltd. They are seeking to have the court declare that the implementation of the OPT by Finance Minister Colm Imbert and the Office of the Attorney General without their input was irrational, wholly unreasonable, disproportionate to any legitimate aim of the Minister of Finance and the AG's Office and amounted to an irregular and improper exercise.
They also stated in their application which was filed last week that the State imposed the OPT via Legal Notice 163 of 2016 against only air freight courier companies and not against ocean freight companies. Given this, the companies are contending that they are being unfairly discriminated against and that their right to equality of treatment by a public authority which is guaranteed under Article 4(d) of the Constitution was being violated.