DEXIA

Trade Agreements

Trade agreements are agreements between nations to set terms of trade between each other.  Each country negotiates terms to protect the interests of businesses within its border. 

For you, an entrepreneur who is currently exporting or considering exporting to another country, it is important to know if Dominica has entered into trade agreements with the country whose market you are trying to penetrate. This is especially important as there are restrictions as to what type of goods are allowed or restricted within its borders. 

Some important trade agreements which apply to Dominica are below: 

 

Agreement Type: Sub-Regional 

Contracting Partner(s): OECS Members

Date Signed:  June 18, 2010

The Revised Treaty of Basseterre which established the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Economic Union was signed by six independent OECS Member states on June 18, 2020.  The OECS is an inter-governmental organisation dedicated to economic harmonisation and integration, protection of human and legal rights, and the encouragement of good governance between countries and dependencies in the Eastern Caribbean.  

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Agreement Type: Regional 

Contracting Partner(s): CARICOM Members

Date Signed:  July 5, 2001 

Agreement Type: Sub-Regional 

The revised Treaty of Chaguaramas was a revised edition of the original treaty which formed the Caribbean Common Market (CARICOM) transforming it into The Caribbean Single market and Economy. Under this revision, factors were allowed to move freely as a basis for internationally competitive production of goods and provision of services. Allowances were made for the subsequent inclusion in the Revised Treaty, by way of additional Protocols (defined by an Inter-Governmental Task Force (IGTF) which was composed of representatives of all Member States) for new issues such as e-commerce, government procurement, trade in goods from free zones, free circulation of goods, and the rights contingent on the free movement of persons.

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Agreement Type: Regional 

Contracting Partner(s): CARICOM Members and the Dominican Republic

Date Signed:  August 22, 1998

A free Trade Agreement signed in August 1998 and provisionally entered into force December 1, 2001. The Agreement grants CARICOM LDCs which includes Saint Lucia non-reciprocal preferential market access to the Dominican Republic, while market access for MDCs  of CARICOM is on a reciprocal basis.

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Agreement Type: Bilateral

Contracting Partner(s):  CARICOM members and Venezuela

Date Signed: October 13, 1992

A non-reciprocal preferential agreement in favour of Caricom, signed October 13, 1992. Venezuelan exporters do not benefit from preferential access to the CARICOM market.  Preferential access for CARICOM exporters is restricted to certain product groups, while others including coconut oil, white rice, broken rice or frozen orange juice, do not benefit from Venezuela’s liberalisation.

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Agreement Type: Bilateral

Contracting Partner(s): CARICOM Members and Costa Rica

Date Signed: March 9, 2004

A Free Trade Agreement signed March, 2004 which provides for duty free treatment for all products except a list of products on which MFN treatment is maintained. Market access for CARICOM’s MDC is based on reciprocity; however CARICOM’s LDCs including Saint Lucia are not required to provide reciprocal preferential market access to Cost Rica.

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Agreement Type: Bilateral

Contracting Partner(s): CARICOM Members and Columbia

Date Signed:  July 24, 1994

a Trade, Economic and Technical Cooperation agreement signed July 24, 1994. Originally a non-reciprocal preferential agreement in favour of certain products from CARICOM. In 1998, four CARICOM More Developed Countries (MDCs) granted reciprocal preferential market access to a negotiated list of Colombian exports, while CARICOM LDCs which includes Saint Lucia, still benefit from preferential access to Colombia.

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Date Signed:  July 5, 2000

A Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement signed in 2000 with an additional protocol enabling provisional application signed on December 8, 2002. Negotiations for the expansion of products subject to preferential treatment under the agreement commenced in 2006 but have not been concluded thus far.

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Agreement Type: Bilateral 

Contracting Partner(s): CARIFORUM States (CARICOM Members, the Dominican Republic) and the European Community

Date Signed: October 15, 2008

In accordance with the provisions of Article 37 of the 2000 Cotonou Partnership Agreement, Saint Lucia as a member of the CARIFORUM Region of the ACP Group, participated in the negotiation of new formal trading arrangements with the European Community.  These negotiations were completed and an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) was signed with the European Community by Saint Lucia and other CARIFORUM Countries, on 15 October 2008. The duration of the EPA is indefinite, and it provides exporters of nearly all CARIFORUM originated goods with duty free and quota free access to the EU market.  The Agreement was ratified by Saint Lucia on 12 June 2012 and is being provisionally applied.  It was notified to the WTO under GATT Article XXIV.

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Agreement Type: Bilateral

Contracting Partner(s):  CARICOM members and Canada

Date Signed:  On-going Negotiations (Commenced on November 10, 2009)

Negotiations (commenced on November 10, 2009)

CARICOM is currently negotiating a Trade and Development Agreement with Canada, as the current CARIBCAN Agreement between the two parties will expire.   CARICOM’s exports benefit from duty free tariff treatment under CARIBCAN across most product categories, including CARICOM’s top 25 exports to Canada.  CARICOM anticipates that the final agreement will be beneficial to the region, as a trade and development agreement with Canada will not require a WTO waiver and will be considered compatible with WTO rules, will include coverage of good including those which were excluded from coverage under CARIBCAN, and be a long term arrangement that locks in CARICOM’s access to the Canadian market. [/su_spoiler]

Agreement Type: Bilateral

Contracting Partner(s): WTO Members (159 members as of March 2013)

Date Signed: January 1, 1995

The World Trade Organization (WTO) deals with the global rules of trade between nations. Its main function is to ensure that trade flows as smoothly, predictably and freely as possible. Saint Lucia has been active in the WTO in the context of the Doha Development Round, (DDA) and in the negotiations has strongly advanced the argument that special and differential is integral to the process.  It has joined with other members of CARICOM in advocating non-reciprocity in NAMA and for flexibilities for small and vulnerable economies in the negotiation process.

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