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Trade Agreements

CARIFORUM European Community (EC) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA)

Jamaica signed the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) on the 15th of October 2008. The EPA came into effect, provisionally, on the 29th of December 2008 with the EU applying duty-free-quota-free market access to almost all products from CARIFORUM countries. The EPA Agreement is a reciprocal trade partnership between the European Union (EU) and ACP Caribbean States (CARIFORUM, i.e. CARICOM Member States plus the Dominican Republic). Cuba is also a Member of CARIFORUM but is not a signatory to the EPA.

CARICOM-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement

A Free Trade Agreement was signed on 22nd of August 1998 and provisionally entered into force in December 2001, following the signing of the Protocol implementing the Agreement on the 28th of April 2000. While the Agreement is focused on trade in goods, it also provides a timetable for the negotiation of a trade in services regime and for government procurement. The FTA is based on reciprocity with the five More Developed Countries of CARICOM and non-reciprocity for CARICOM Less Developed Countries (LDCs). Jamaica remains the only CARICOM Most Developed Country (MDC) which has not yet formally implemented the Agreement.

The Agreement is being provisionally applied by Jamaica through the granting of Ministerial waivers by the Ministry of Finance for those tariff lines which it had committed to liberalize under the Agreement, pending the completion of the legislative process which is underway to give formal effect to the Agreement.

CARICOM-Costa Rica Free Trade Agreement

The Agreement was signed on the 9th of March 2004 and covers trade in goods and provide for further negotiations in Competition Policy, Government Procurement, Double Taxation and Services. In 2015 the Trade Agreement was gazetted and the duty-free access of goods imported into Jamaica under this Agreement will now be automatically applied by Jamaica Customs.

Exports from Jamaica will also have duty free entry into Costa Rica in accordance with the provisions of the Agreement. This is also to be applied automatically by the Customs Authority in Costa Rica. The Jamaica Customs Authority has the responsibility of ensuring that goods entering Jamaica duty free meet the Rules of Origin requirements in accordance with the relevant provisions of both Agreements.

CARICOM-Cuba Agreement

A Partial Scope Agreement signed on the 5th of July 2000. The Agreement is also focused on trade in goods but provides a timetable for negotiating a trade in services regime and commits the Parties to doing the same for reciprocal promotion and protection of investment and for government procurement.

In 2015, the Trade Agreement was gazetted and the duty-free access of goods imported into Jamaica under this Agreement will now be automatically applied by Jamaica Customs. Exports from Jamaica will also have duty free entry into Cuba in accordance with the provisions of the Agreements. This is also to be applied automatically by the Customs Authority in Cuba.

CARICOM-Venezuela Free Trade Agreement

A Partial Scope Agreement which was signed on the 15th of October 1992 and entered into force on the 1st of January 2000, which currently offers one-way duty-free access for products from CARICOM entering the Venezuelan market.

It is primarily focused on trade in goods but provides for a framework for future collaboration in the promotion of services and investment. The Agreement has been fairly dormant as there have been varied technical problems affecting its implementation.

CARICOM-Colombia Free Trade Agreement

A Partial Scope Agreement which was signed on the 15th of October 1992 and entered into force on the 1st of January 2000, which currently offers one-way duty-free access for products from CARICOM entering the Venezuelan market.

It is primarily focused on trade in goods but provides for a framework for future collaboration in the promotion of services and investment. The Agreement has been fairly dormant as there have been varied technical problems affecting its implementation.

CARICOM-USA Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA)

Signed on the 28th of May 2013, this Agreement is intended to strengthen economic relations between the USA and CARICOM countries by enhancing cooperation and promoting international trade and investment. The Agreement also seeks to address investment restrictions and trade barriers, promote private investment and foreign direct investment, in addition to facilitating the resolution of trade and investment disputes.

Commitments have also been made to strengthen cooperation in the area of the trade in services, provide adequate and effective protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights, promote innovation and the dissemination of technology, protect fundamental labour rights, as well as protecting and preserving the environment. Additionally, the agreement further seeks to promote transparency in international trade and investment and reinforces each Party’s obligations under the WTO and other agreements to which they are parties.

Most importantly, however, the TIFA does not prejudice the arrangements that are already in place under the CBI, and which will continue to provide preferential access to CARICOM exports to the USA. It also takes into consideration the differing levels of development and geographic dispersal of CARICOM member states.

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