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Published on: 15/07/2011

A US bottled water exporter that had enjoyed a de facto tax free status in the Pacific island nation of Fiji since 1995, has finally been forced to pay up.
Once dubbed as “bottled insanity” by environmentalists, FIJI Water has been linked to tax evasion, political intrigue, and greenwashing.

Fiji earned a record high 4.4 million Fiji dollars (US$ 2.5 million) in the first four months of 2011 from the Water Resource Tax imposed on bottled water companies. This was largely attributed to the first payment since the tax came into effect by Fiji's largest bottled water exporter – FIJI Water.

In 2010, FIJI Water threatened to shutdown operations after the government increased the water extraction tax from one third of a cent per litre to 15 Fiji cents (8.5 US dollar cents) a litre. The tax only applies to companies bottling more than 3.5 million litres per month and FIJI Water happened to be the only company that met this requirement. While the company was able, in 2008, to thwart an attempt by the government to impose a similar but higher water tax of 20 Fijian cents per litre, it finally agreed to pay up in 2010.

Read the full story in WASH news Asia & Pacific, 10 Jun 2011

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