Because Trade Matters...
                                                   CRNM
                                         ...
The Secretary General of the Council of the                                            These studies are aimed at assistin...
EPA Implementation issues                                                             While the major implementing legisla...
7. The designation of competent authorities to                                           Recent Activities
   facilitate t...
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Special RNM Update - Implementation Of The Cariforum-EC EPA [12 Jan 2009]

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This Special RNM Update looks at the issues relevant to the full implementation of the CARIFORUM-EC Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), which was concluded on December 16, 2007, and signed in October 15, 2008.

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Transcript of "Special RNM Update - Implementation Of The Cariforum-EC EPA [12 Jan 2009]"

  1. 1. Because Trade Matters... CRNM UPDATE The CRNM is responsible for developing and maintaining a cohesive and effective framework for the coordination and management of the Caribbean Region’s negotiating resources and expertise. Is s u e : 09/ 0 1 Update on the Implementation of the Cariforum-EC Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) Provisional Application Two factors contributed to the prompt notification of the Agreement. The first was the On 15 October 2008, thirteen CARIFORUM States then impending Appellate Body hearing on and the EC signed the CARIFORUM‐EC Economic bananas (16‐17 October) and the desire to ensure Partnership Agreement (EPA) at a ceremony in that there was legal coverage for the preference Barbados. Guyana subsequently signed the being accorded to CARIFORUM bananas exports. Agreement on 20 October in Brussels. Haiti, the The second was Article 243(3) of the EPA which committed the parties to commence provisional only UN‐designated LDC in the CARIFORUM application of the Agreement “as soon as possible Group, has not yet signed the Agreement. but no later than 31 October 2008”. Consistent with the Decision of 14 December 2006 by The Transparency Mechanism dictates that, “as a the General Council of the WTO on Transparency rule, notification must take place directly Mechanism for Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs), following the parties’ ratification of the RTA or the CARIFORUM‐EU EPA was jointly notified to the any party’s decision on application of the relevant Committee on Regional Trade Agreements (CRTA) on parts of an agreement, and before the application 16 October 2008. The notification was modified on of preferential treatment between the parties”. October 22 to reflect Guyana’s addition to the slate Consequently, it was necessary for the two Sides of CARIFORUM signatory states. to notify the Agreement prior to the date agreed for the commencement of provisional application. CRNM UPDATE is the flagship electronic trade newsletter of the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery (CRNM). Published in English, it is a rich source of probing research on and detailed analyses of international trade policy issues and developments germane to the Caribbean. Prepared by the Information Unit of the CRNM, the newsletter focuses on the CRNM, trade negotiation issues within its mandate and related activities. Its intention is to provide impetus for feedback by and awareness amongst a variety of stakeholders, as regards trade policy developments of currency and importance to the Caribbean. http://www.crnm.org
  2. 2. The Secretary General of the Council of the These studies are aimed at assisting in providing European Union is the depository for the the EC and other potential donors with a better Agreement. Given the region‐to‐region nature of understanding of the region’s needs. They also the EPA, provisional application by the aim at translating the cooperation provisions of CARIFORUM party could only take effect when all the EPA into concrete and actionable sector of the CARIFORUM signatories individually programmes destined for any potential donor, completed the domestic procedure necessary to detailing timing and activities required in order to enable provisional application or ratification. The allow the region to fully implement the last signatory CARIFORUM state deposited its commitments in the Agreement. Efforts are being notification in mid‐December 2008 and made to accelerate the work of the Task Force. Provisional Application took effect on 29th December 2008. To date, studies chronicling CARIFORUM support needs have been completed in the following six areas:‐ WTO Transparency Mechanism 1. Competitiveness and Innovation; Due to the presence of a non‐WTO Member (The 2. Customs and Trade Facilitation; Bahamas) among the signatories to the 3. Competition Policy; CARIFORUM‐EC EPA, the WTO Committee on Regional Trade Agreements (CRTA) has not issued 4. Public Procurement, a schedule for its consideration of the EPA. WTO Members are yet to establish procedures on the 5. Technical Barriers to Trade; and consideration of RTAs which include a non‐WTO 6. Sanitary and Phytosanitary Member and it is unclear when consensus on this Measures for Fisheries Access to EU issue will be reached. Further, currently, the WTO market. Secretariat has in its queue 46 RTAs for which factual presentations remain outstanding. Terms of reference for the launch of studies in several other areas have also been completed. It should be noted that other ACP sub‐Groups, CARIFORUM is currently working with the such ad ESA, include non‐ WTO Members. Commission to finalize terms of reference for the remaining areas. With the signing of the Caribbean Regional RPTF ‐ The State of Play Indicative programme (CRIP) on November 15 on the occasion of the European Development Day, The work programme of the CARIFORUM‐EC the financial framework is now in place for Regional Preparatory Task Force (RPTF) includes drawing down resources to fund programmes overseeing the preparation of a comprehensive identified in the completed studies. set of studies. CRNM UPDATE is the flagship electronic trade newsletter of the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery (CRNM). Published in English, it is a rich source of probing research on and detailed analyses of international trade policy issues and developments germane to the Caribbean. Prepared by the Information Unit of the CRNM, the newsletter focuses on the CRNM, trade negotiation issues within its mandate and related activities. Its intention is to provide impetus for feedback by and awareness amongst a variety of stakeholders, as regards trade policy developments of currency and importance to the Caribbean. http://www.crnm.org
  3. 3. EPA Implementation issues While the major implementing legislation will not be needed immediately upon provisional The CARIFORUM‐EC EPA is a comprehensive application of the Agreement, some “immediate agreement covering, inter alia, trade in Goods, action items”, such as the need to convene initial Services and Investment, Competition Policy, meetings of the institutional bodies and more Innovation and Intellectual Property, specifically the Joint CARIFORUM‐EC Council and Transparency in Public Procurement, Environment the Trade and Development Committee, are and Social Aspects, and Personal Data Protection. required. There is also an overarching Development Chapter, which outlines scope and cooperation Furthermore, both the act of signature of the priorities, such as support to build human, legal agreement and provisional application, serve as and institutional capacity, promotion of private triggers for the fulfillment by the CARIFORUM sector and enterprise development, States of other specific obligations under the diversification of export base and support to Agreement. The most clearly defined of these develop infrastructure necessary to conduct obligations are the following: trade. This chapter is complemented by subject‐ 1. The implementation of a zero rate of duty for specific development cooperation priorities. certain specified products of EC origin The EPA is the central plank of the region’s 2. The implementation of the negotiated strategy for dealing with the changing commitments in services and investment. international trading environment. Its implementation by both Parties to the Agreement 3. The notification of customs duties other than therefore assumes very great importance now those set out in Annex III (ODC’s) to the especially given that the pursuit of strengthened CARIFORUM‐EC Trade and Development Committee (within six months of signature). CARIFORUM regional integration is one of the central tenets underlying the EPA. 4. The elimination of customs duties on exports (within three years of signature.) CARIFORUM has already started to give consideration to an “EPA Implementation Road 5. The accordance of regional preferences intra Map”. The Road Map, which will be refined based CARIFORUM commencing generally one year on the output of the studies, sets out the after the signature of the Agreement ( but legislative and policy actions required at the immediately with respect to the obligation to national and regional levels; timelines for accord a zero rate of duty on all products slated for immediate liberalization under the accomplishment of each action; an estimate of EPA . the resources required for the implementation of EPA commitments; and possible sources of 6. the designation of National Coordinators and funding, including those already committed by the a Regional Coordinator to facilitate the EC. In addition, several Member States have effective implementation of the Agreement established or are in the process of establishing and communication (upon provisional national EPA Implementation Units. application) CRNM UPDATE is the flagship electronic trade newsletter of the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery (CRNM). Published in English, it is a rich source of probing research on and detailed analyses of international trade policy issues and developments germane to the Caribbean. Prepared by the Information Unit of the CRNM, the newsletter focuses on the CRNM, trade negotiation issues within its mandate and related activities. Its intention is to provide impetus for feedback by and awareness amongst a variety of stakeholders, as regards trade policy developments of currency and importance to the Caribbean. http://www.crnm.org
  4. 4. 7. The designation of competent authorities to Recent Activities facilitate the implementation of SPS measures (upon provisional application) In addition to the dissemination of information to stakeholders on the CARIFORUM‐EC EPA, 8. The designation of contact points to facilitate CARIFORUM has initiated actions aimed at taking the exchange of information related to advantage of the opportunities under the EPA. technical regulations and standards (upon Specifically, in September 2008, a study tour of provisional application) European capitals was conducted involving several Caribbean organizations and business 9. Establishment of a list of arbitrators (15) owners, including the Caribbean Association of through the CARIFORUM –EC Trade and Industry and Commerce, Caribbean Export Agency Development Committee (within 3 months of and the Caribbean Regional Negotiating provisional application) Machinery. The tour focused on matching 10. Establishment of rules of procedures of the Caribbean and European businesses in the area of Arbitration panels through the CARIFORUM‐ creative industry and Information and EC Council (within 3 months of provisional Communication Technology (ICT). application) CARIFORUM and the EC also held its first Business There are of course reciprocal obligations on the Forum on 24‐25 November in Barbados. The EC side, some of which took effect on January 1, Business Forum aims to build private sector 2008. capacity in the CARIFORUM region by providing a platform to facilitate dialogue between CARIFORUM and European firms and investors. Among the issues discussed were the opportunities and challenges associated with doing business in Europe and the CARIFORUM region in the area of services export from a general and sectoral perspective as well as how to effectively use the EPA as a tool to expand trade Please visit our website for more between the two regions information on Caribbean Trade or email: marsha.drakes@crnm.org CRNM UPDATE is the flagship electronic trade newsletter of the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery (CRNM). Published in English, it is a rich source of probing research on and detailed analyses of international trade policy issues and developments germane to the Caribbean. Prepared by the Information Unit of the CRNM, the newsletter focuses on the CRNM, trade negotiation issues within its mandate and related activities. Its intention is to provide impetus for feedback by and awareness amongst a variety of stakeholders, as regards trade policy developments of currency and importance to the Caribbean. http://www.crnm.org

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