Sep 20, 2017 Last Updated 4:31 AM, Aug 1, 2017

Jamaica’s rural agricultural producers will soon be more equipped to benefit from the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). This is due to a one-day CSME sensitization workshop to be convened by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat this Wednesday, November 30. Approximately 40 participants from agricultural bodies and related public sector entities will converge at the Golf View Hotel in Mandeville, Manchester for the event. The activity is facilitated under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) and Economic Integration Programme (EIP). This represents a valuable opportunity for rural producers to gain information about the CSME and learn about its significant advantages for their sector.

Presentations will be delivered by resource persons from the CARICOM Secretariat and will include topics such as the current status of the CSME and facilitating agricultural trade and investment in the CSME. There will also be a presentation on the status of Jamaica’s implementation of the CSME and particularly as it relates to agriculture. The presentations will be followed by dialogue sessions in which participants can share their experiences and clarify issues surrounding the CSME. At the end of the workshop, participants should have a better appreciation of the benefits of the CSME for farmers and agricultural producers generally. This workshop marks the culmination of a series of CSME-sensitization sessions for the private sector and rural communities in 6 member states including Barbados, Belize, Guyana, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Suriname.

Jamaica will also benefit from an additional CSME sensitization activity when the Secretariat hosts a public awareness session on the facilitation of travel on Thursday, December 1 at Merl Grove High School. Participants will be informed about their rights and responsibilities as CARICOM nationals travelling within the CSME for work, leisure or business.

 

Download Press Release here:  PR1732016 CSME Sensitization for Jamaicas Rural Community

The Ministry of Trade is continuing its activities towards putting a legislative framework in place for consumer protection.

At a press conference on Monday, October 19th Director of Trade, Mathan Walter announced the latest is a series of three workshops related to consumer protection matters which gets underway this week.

He says the thrust of the Ministry is to ensure that consumers in Dominica benefit from robust protection laws.

“[We] believe that the word consumer should be equated with citizen and that consumer protection law should be regarded as an aspect of civic rights,” Walter said.

Three workshops have been organized; the first began on Monday October 19th and will end on the 20th. It focused on consumer protection law and policy.

 

Original Article here: http://www.news.gov.dm/index.php/news/3029-work-continues-on-consumer-protection-bill

Definition of Services in the CSME

The use of terms of the Revised Treaty provide that services mean “…services provided against remuneration other than wages in an approved sector…”.

Typical services include, financial services, , transportation and communications ,tourism, education , health care , business services , production related services and environmental services . All of these types of services are included in the CSME agreement on free movement of services.

The services sector in the CSME dominates the regional economies. As a share of GDP at factor cost in 1995 services were estimated to contribute 74 per cent which has remained fairly stable over the period 1995 – 2006. The sectors with the largest contribution are the financial services, wholesale & retail trade and Government services.

In trade, services are significant contributing over 80 per cent, of exports of goods and nonfactor services. In the share of export services in CARICOM, trade has to with the dominance of tourism and financial services. In imports however, services account for around one third of the value of imports of goods and non-factor services reflecting the importance of merchandise trade in consumption and investment.

Data on intra-regional trade is not widely available however, but from the list of services for which there is information, it is apparent that intra-regional trade though significant is not dominant.

 

The Meaning of the Right to Provide Services in the CSME

The CSME legislative framework which includes the Revised Treaty provide in Article 30 for CARICOM nationals to supply services to each other whether across borders or within the territory of a Member State as a matter of right. The Treaty is now the domestic law of Twelve Member States.

Further these Member States have enacted the Movement of Factors Act which contain specific sections expressing how within a Member State the law concerning the exercise of the right to provide services by nationals of another Member State will apply. In addition many specific laws have been changed in order to guarantee market access by the nationals of one member state into the services markets of another Member State.

 

Modes of Supply of Services

Chapter Three of the Revised Treaty provide under Article 36 paragraph 4 , for services in the CSME to be supplied by any of the following four modes ;

Mode 1 : from the territory of one Member State into the territory of another member state

Mode 2 in the territory of one member state to the service consumer of another member state

Mode 3 : by a service supplier of one Member State through the Commercial presence in the territory of another Member State

Mode 4 : by a service supplier of one Member State through the presence of natural persons of a Member State in the territory of another Member State

 

Free Trade Association

The regime for the free movement of goods started with the establishment of the Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA) in 1965.

CARIFTA was in essence a free trade area. In such a free trade area, members agree to eliminate tariffs, quotas and preferences and all other barriers to trade on most (if not all) goods produced within the area. In the case of CARIFTA however, Members still maintained quotas on certain goods and provisions were made for the imposition of duties on certain sensitive goods which were produced in the Less Developed Countries.

 
Customs Union

According to the GATT 1994, a Customs Union is an agreement among nation states in which substantially all restrictions to trade among them are removed and a common tariff and the same regulations of commerce are applied by all of the Members to the goods imported from non-members.

CARIFTA was replaced by the Caribbean Community and Common Market in 1974 (the actual Treaty of Chaguaramas was signed in 1973 and the Community and the Common Market were two separate legal entities). Though called a Common Market, in practice it was really a customs union where in addition to eliminating the barriers to trade in goods, the Member States established a Common External Tariff. This Common External Tariff is simply a harmonized schedule of duties that would be applied to goods produced outside of the region.

The net effect was that the Common Market area was protected for goods produced within the region. Within this regime, the special treatment for certain sensitive industries in the LDCs (Belize and the OECS) was maintained. It therefore meant that sensitive goods as identified by the LDCs would enjoy duty free access to the entire market, while the same goods produced in the More Developed Countries would not enjoy similar treatment – that is to say the rules of origin or tariff treatment would be suspended for such goods. This provision was articulated in Article 56 of the Original Treaty (Common Market Annex).

There are no import duties on goods of CARICOM origin. Tariffs and quantitative restrictions in all Member States are removed. The treatment of intra-regional imports will be different from those coming from the rest of the world.

In addition, there will be agreed regional standards for the production of goods throughout the Region. This could be a major incentive for producers/manufacturers to aim at a high standard of products. Manufacturers will be able to get their goods to over six million (14 million if Haiti is included) people in the Caribbean.

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