CARICOM Updates

Summary of 47th Meeting of the Council on Trade and Economic Development Report (November 2018)

The following captures those issues which are of primary concern to the local manufacturing community, following the Officials Meeting of the 47th COTED.

Requests from Member States for Suspension of the Common External Tariff

  • Suriname’s request was reviewed, and members were consulted on the list. There were no objections.
  • Trinidad and Tobago’s request for suspension on the list of basic food items was approved for the period 1 January 2019 – 31 December 2019.
  • Trinidad and Tobago’s suspension on detergent powder (i.e. an increase to 35%) was approved for the period 1 January 2019 – 31 December 2019.
  • Trinidad and Tobago’s request for suspension on additional items (e.g. steel, personal protective equipment) was approved for the period 1 January 2019 – 31 December 2019.
  • Trinidad and Tobago’s request for suspension on the medicaments was approved, subject to Barbados’ addition of medicaments to the list for the period 1 January 2019 – 31 December 2019.
  • Grenada’s list of basic food items was approved, except for cereals.

Notification of the Commonwealth of Dominica’s Intent to Ban the Use of Styrofoam and Select “Single Use” Plastics by 1 January 2019

Dominica indicated its intent to ban the importation of Styrofoam and Select “Single Use” plastics by 1 January 2019.

Trade in Sugar

In December 2017, the safeguard certificates for products that utilise extra-regional sugar (for the period 1 January 2018 – 31 December 2018) were not granted based on the belief that the requisite sugar could be sourced within CARICOM. After constant dialogue between CARICOM Secretariat and the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, the certificates were granted in January 2018.

In December 2018, the safeguard certificates for products that utilise extra-regional sugar (for the period 1 January 2019 – 31 December 2019) were granted.

Update on Haiti’s Application of Community Origin Treatment

Haiti is able to participate in the CARICOM Single Market for at least 80% of products. It is possible that the country would be part of the Market in 2019. The remainder of tariff lines still need to be negotiated at the WTO, since Haiti’s bound rates are less than CARICOM Common External Tariff.

Update on Consultancy on the Review of the CET and Rules of Origin

The recommended Common External Tariff (CET) and Rules of Origin (ROO) for the CARICOM Single Market were circulated to TTMA’s members for consideration. It is anticipated that the recommended CET and ROO would be discussed in during a COTED meeting in May 2019.

Change in Rule of Origin for Automotive Batteries (HS 8507.10.00)

Trinidad and Tobago’s request for the change of the CARICOM rule of origin for automotive batteries (HS 8507.10.00) was approved. The rule is now as follows: A change to subheading 8507.10.00 from any other subheading.

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