Trade Agreement Summaries


We have prepared country guides for all countries with which Trinidad and Tobago is party to a Trade Agreement. These guides are intended to deepen exporters' knowledge and understanding of Trade Agreements and enable exporters to capitalize on arising trade opportunities.

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The Dominican Republic

THE FREE TRADE AREA BETWEEN CARICOM AND THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

OVERVIEW
The CARICOM / Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement grants our exporters access to more than eight million consumers in the Dominican Republic market. This agreement provides for duty-free access for all goods other than certain specifically listed goods, including those that are economically sensitive.
In addition to trade in goods, the agreement makes provisions for liberalisation of trade in services. It also incorporates commitments to develop other areas of co-operation including reciprocal promotion and protection of investment, double taxation issues and government procurement.

The agreement aims to not only establish a Free Trade Area between CARICOM and the Dominican Republic but also to promote and expand the sale of goods originating in these territories through free access to markets, the elimination of non-tariff barriers to trade and the establishment of Rules of Origin, Customs Co-operation and the Harmonisation of Technical, Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary Procedures.

A Joint Council is responsible for the administration of the Agreement and resolution of any disputes that cannot be resolved through informal consultations. Aggrieved parties may request an intervention in writing to the other party and to the Joint Council if both parties fail to arrive at a mutual solution within 30 days or, in the case of perishables, within 10 days.

The Agreement also promotes the active participation of the private sector via the establishment of a CARICOM/Dominican Republic Business Forum to analyse trade and investment opportunities, exchange business information and organise business encounters and any other matters referred to it by the Joint Council.

Colombia

CARICOM/Colombia Trade, Economic and Technical Co-operation Agreement

OVERVIEW
The CARICOM/Colombia Trade, Economic and Technical Co-operation Agreement provides for two-way trade liberalisation and trade facilitation between Trinidad and Tobago and Colombia. Initially a one-way agreement granting preferential tariff rates to CARICOM exports into the Colombian market, the Agreement was revised in the late 1990s to provide tariff reductions on imports from Colombia.

The Agreement aims to strengthen the economic relations, trade and technical co-operation between CARICOM Member States and Colombia through the promotion and expansion of the sale of goods as well as the promotion and protection of investments. It facilitates the creation and operation of joint ventures and the promotion of private sector activities including business exchanges. A safeguard clause also exists in case of injury or threat of injury to domestic production or for balance of payment reasons. A CARICOM/Colombia Joint Council on Trade, Economic and Business Co-operation is responsible for the administration of the Agreement, while any disputes regarding subsidies and anti-dumping will be taken to the World Trade Organization.

Costa Rica

The CARICOM/Costa Rica Free Trade Agreement

OVERVIEW

The CARICOM/Costa Rica Free Trade Agreement will allow Trinidad and Tobago's exporters and CARICOM States a more transparent and predictable access to the Costa Rican market, which is in excess of four million people.

The Agreement provides for free trade or preferential access for a wide range of goods. However, a limited number of sensitive products such as fish, chocolate, cigarettes and certain agricultural commodities will continue to attract duties. For several products, the duties were phased out over a four-year period to a zero rate.

Apart from trade in goods, the Agreement contains anti-dumping provisions, provides for a review of developments in relation to trade in services, investment, competition policy and government procurement. It also provides for dispute settlement.

Cuba

CARICOM/CUBA TRADE & ECONOMIC AGREEMENT

OVERVIEW
The CARICOM/Cuba Trade and Economic Agreement provides for extensive duty-free treatment on specific goods such as fruit juices, various sauces, condiments, seasonings, clothing and much more. It also provides for duty-free treatment on specific agricultural products at scheduled periods throughout the year. A number of products have also been designated for reduction and elimination of tariffs on a phased basis. These preferential tariff treatments provide Trinidad and Tobago's exporters with greater access to Cuba's market, which is in excess of 11 million consumers.

In addition to the reduction of duties on traded goods, the Agreement also visits the removal of regulatory and administrative barriers to both goods and services and technology and exchange through co-operation activities.Signed in July 2000, the Agreement also addresses such activities as investment, trade in services, taxation, trade promotion and facilitation, tourism and intellectual property rights.

A Joint Commission comprising members of both parties has the responsibility for supervising the implementation and administration of the Agreement. The Commission, which is mandated to meet annually, is also responsible for resolving any disputes which may arise from the interpretation and execution of the agreement. The Joint Commission also has the mandate to review the governing technical regulations and consider measures to ensure that technical standards do not constitute unnecessary barriers to trade.In addition, the Trade Facilitation Office is an important resource, which provides our exporters with representation in Cuba.

Venezuela

CARICOM/Venezuela Agreement on Trade and Investment

OVERVIEW
The CARICOM/Venezuela Trade and Investment Agreement is a one-way preferential agreement, which aims to promote CARICOM exports to Venezuela. Tariffs have been eliminated on 22% of products such as fresh produce, confectionery, cosmetics, jams and jellies, medicines, wooden furniture, horticultural products, spices, processed foods and toilet preparations, while many other products enjoy some measure of tariff reduction. Exceptions to these items include beef, milk products, coffee, rice, some oils and other selected goods.

The Agreement also seeks to foster investment in the region and to facilitate joint ventures between both parties. In addition, signatories are allowed to apply measures to counter unfair trade practices, such as export and domestic subsidies as well as dumping. Disputes which may arise can be resolved through the use of the Joint Council established under this Agreement, whose judgments, although not binding, takes the form of recommendations.

The Economic Partnership Agreement

CARIFORUM-EUROPEAN COMMISSION ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT

OVERVIEW
Trinidad and Tobago, a CARIFORUM member, signed an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with member states of the European Union, replacing previous agreements and facilitating better market access in Europe for our products and services.

CARIFORUM and EC MEMBERS

The following countries are members of CARIFORUM:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Commonwealth of the Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Commonwealth of Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Grenada
  • Co-operative Republic of Guyana
  • Republic of Haiti
  • Jamaica Saint Christopher and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Republic of Suriname
  • Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

The following countries are members of the European Union:

  • Republic of Austria
  • Kingdom of Belgium
  • Republic of Bulgaria
  • Republic of Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Kingdom of Denmark
  • Republic of Estonia
  • Republic of Finland
  • French Republic
  • Federal Republic of Germany
  • Hellenic Republic (Greece)
  • Republic of Hungary
  • Republic of Ireland
  • Italian Republic
  • Republic of Latvia
  • Republic of Lithuania
  • Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
  • Republic of Malta
  • Kingdom of the Netherlands
  • Republic of Poland
  • Portuguese Republic
  • Romania
  • Slovak Republic
  • Republic of Slovenia
  • Kingdom of Spain
  • Kingdom of Sweden
  • United Kingdom

Panama

The Partial Scope Agreement between Trinidad and Tobago and Panama

OVERVIEW
The Partial Scope Agreement between Trinidad and Tobago and Panama aims to promote the expansion of trade in goods and services between both countries, by contributing to the removal of trade barriers, strengthening co-operation activities in related areas and providing fair conditions of competition for trade.

The Agreement proposes that there will be no prohibitions or restrictions on the importation, exportation or sale for export of any good unless otherwise stated and in accordance with international trade laws. Additionally, neither consular fees nor consular formalities will be required for traded goods. There are instances, however, where bilateral or global safeguard measures may be administered, affecting the preferential tariffs.

Additionally, agricultural products are accorded special treatment. Trinidad and Tobago and Panama aim to establish a fair and market-oriented agriculture trading system, working towards the reduction of export subsidies to improve market access.

The Joint Administration Commission is mandated to supervise the implementation and administration of the Agreement and review its general functioning.

El Salvador

The Trinidad and Tobago/ El Salvador Trade Agreement

ABOUT EL SALVADOR

EL SALVADOR: FACTS AND FIGURES
Official name: Republic of El Salvador
Capital: San Salvador
Area: 21,041 sq km
Population size: 6,090,646
Population growth: 0.303%
Demographics: Mestizo (90%), White 9%, Amerindian (1%)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 29.7%; 15-64 years: 63.7%; 65 years and over: 6.6%
Location: Central America, bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Guatemala and Honduras; 13 50N, 88 55W
Official language: Spanish (official), Nahua (among some Amerindians)
Currency: United States dollar
Government system: Republic
President: Carlos Mauricio Funes Cartagena
Official time: UTC -6
Telephone Area Code: 011 +503 +phone number
Main Airports: El Salvador International Airport (San Salvador), Ilopango International Airport (San Salvador).
Main Ports: Puerto Cutuco, Acajutla.

MARKET OVERVIEW
The smallest country in Central America geographically, El Salvador has the third largest economy in the region. The country has a population of some 6.1 million people, 37% of whom live below the poverty line. El Salvador is described as having a large divide between the upper and lower classes with a small middle class, which accounts for about 7% of the population.

Guatemala

Trinidad and Tobago / Guatemala Partial Scope Agreement

OVERVIEW
The Partial Scope Agreement between Trinidad and Tobago and Guatemala aims to promote the harmonious development of the economic relations between both countries through the expansion of trade in goods and services. It is anticipated that this will contribute to the removal of barriers to trade and enhance the development and expansion of trade. In addition, co-operation activities will be strengthened and fair conditions for competition will be provided.

 

 
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