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“Jamaica Trade Desk News” Theme: Implementing Trade Facilitation... Contact us at (868) 675-8862 Ext. 239 M O N T H L Y




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Challenges to cooperation on public policies… (1/2) The WTO Secretariat and other agencies have restored the existing international classification, to facilitate the incorporation of all available sources of information. The global program Transparency in Trade Initiative (TNT) can also play an important role, boosting the collection and dissemination of influential trade data, and putting in place a sustainable governance mechanism for greater transparency. In due course, however, the key to sustainable improvement in the level of transparency is in the hands of national governments.

HIGHLIGHT THE SIGNIFICANCE OF TRADE FACILITATION:  Challenges to cooperation on public policies... INSIDE THIS ISSUE:

Promoting effective trade facilitation measures: Monitoring & enforce- 3 ment of the food, drugs & cosmetics of T&T. Investment opportuni- 4 ties in T&T! Rules: all of them made to be broken…?


Customs & trade facilitation in T&T...


The GORTT invests 7 into the Fashion industry!

TTMA invites you to its signature' event!


Contact the JA-T&T Trade Facilitation Desk NOW!!!


Recognizing that international and regional cooperation on Non Tariff Measures (NTMs), and in particular on those related to public policy, can be generated by several factors is quite difficult. The first factor is that numerous NTMs raise sensitive transparency issues. Most of them are fundamentally complex and ambiguous, and available information is usually very limited and generally of low quality. The opacity of measures makes international cooperation complicated, as it creates rule-making inefficiencies, deceases in the capacity to enforce agreements, impedes regulatory improvement and fails to correct governments' lack of commitment. It imposes high costs on certain companies, in general exporters, however it may benefit others, possibly importcompeting firms. Depending on situations, politically motivated governments may have a preference for opaque rather than transparent policy instruments. Why is it so difficult to improve the quantity and quality of information?

A second factor that set hurdles to international cooperation in the case of public policies is a persistent tension between the accomplishment of legal policy objectives, and trade restrictiveness in the design and most importantly the implementation of these important measures. In fact, this tension is being reinforced by information problems, because WTO members may not always be familiar with which measure will be most efficient in striking this balance.

There is no doubt that substantial efforts have been made by the WTO and other international organizations to increase the quantity, quality and accessibility of NTM information, but a lot remains to be done. The WTO's Integrated Trade Intelligence Portal (I-TIP), which was launched in 2012, provides a single entry point for information compiled by the WTO on trade policy measures. Containing information on over 25,000 measures collected through notifications, I-TIP covers both tariff and non-tariff measures affecting trade in goods, as well as information on trade in services, regional trade agreements and the accession commitments of WTO members. Its aim is to serve the needs of those seeking detailed information on trade policy measures, and also those looking for summary information.

Further, defining appropriate international standards in the areas of TBTs and domestic regulation in services is not simple. Also, due to low regulatory capacity, developing and least developed countries might face particular challenges in influencing the standards development process.

In this regard, involving an internationally agreed benchmark arrangement of efficient regulation for a particular policy objective can be most helpful. Accordingly, WTO TBT (Trade Barriers to Trade) and SPS (Sanitary and Phytosanitary) agreements encourage the alignment of measures with relevance to international standards. Obviously, this is not a cure, as countries vary with respect to risk preferences, outcomes and tastes.

Another information dilemma is that members may not know the best way to design and implement TBTs and SPS measures within the regulatory lifecycle. Go to the next page



... Challenges to cooperation on public policies (2/2) The use of an agreed set of regulatory steps that define clearly an efficient regulatory intervention may be then beneficial. For example, sharing a common regulatory language in the Caribbean region could increase transparency and predictability of measures, and provides common criteria against which to judge them. The work of the TBT and SPS committees is therefore pertinent in this context, in encouraging members to follow common approaches such as good regulatory practice, when crafting TBTs and SPS measures. It is essential to emphasize that the growth of private standards comprises another challenge to expanding cooperation on public policies. These standards address a range of perceived or actual consumer-driven requests related to environmental protection, social values, and food or health safety. Although presented as voluntary in nature, because they are imposed by private entities, private standards often become a concerning fact for market access. Developing countries have often voiced concerns that these requirements are stricter than regulations imposed by governments, that private standards are multiplying and that there is no alternative to restraint them. The impact of such standards is certainly being raised strongly in TBT and SPS committees, yet there is ambiguity on what the role of the WTO should be, if any at all.

Poorer countries often find it unfeasible to comply with standards in major markets, as it can be too expensive for firms to adjust to the rigorous standards required, to access what we would called rich countries' export markets, as well as for governments to provide proper infrastructures for conformity assessment. Regulatory capacity building is a vital element in improving international, and by extension regional cooperation on public policies to benefit poorer countries. For all the reasons outlined above, the Jamaica-T&T Trade Facilitation Desk is encouraging the Governments of CARICOM to promote some forms of convergence, for instance supporting regulatory authorities to align their TBTs and SPS measures with relevant international standards. Transparency provisions, Aid for Trade and encouragement to follow best practice in the regulatory process also promote convergence. Nevertheless, differences in preferences, stages of development and the ability to ensure good governance can act as redoubtable obstacles to multilateral convergence. As an alternative, it may be accomplished more easily through regional cooperation agreements between comparable countries. The potential for trade-diverting effects on outsiders and regulatory lock-in cannot be unnoticed. This is yet an additional challenge in adapting the WTO to a world ahead of tariffs, while maintaining its significance at the heart of the debate over the multilateral trading system. An article written by Mrs. Naïka Pichi-Ayers– TTMA Trade Desk Officer (Jamaica-T&T Trade Facilitation Desk). For further clarifications, please feel free to contact Mrs. Pichi-Ayers at: (868) 675-8862 Ext. 239/ Email:



Monitoring & enforcement of the food, drugs & cosmetics industry in Trinidad & Tobago… (1/2) Why are standards important to business development? The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) states that its International standards „ensure that products and services are safe, reliable and of good quality. For business, they are strategic tools that reduce costs by minimizing waste and errors and increasing productivity. They help companies to access new markets, level the playing field for developing countries and facilitate free and fair global trade‟ (ISO Website). The ISO makes clear the link between standards development and business growth. It makes intuitive sense in the context of ensuring that the end user receives a product with which he or she is completely comfortable. Furthermore, in an era of trade liberalization where raw materials and finished goods are moved dynamically from one country to another, International Standards provide a singular basis upon which importers and exporters can gauge the quality of the goods entering and exiting their country. However, it is also important for each country to develop its own set of standards, in the context of their development goals – in particular, each country will have unique goals regarding the well being or health of their citizenry, the quality of resources and infrastructure, and the development of industry. In Trinidad and Tobago, the two main state agencies that are responsible for standard setting are the Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards, and the Chemistry Food and Drugs Division. Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards (TTBS) and the Chemistry Food and Drugs Division (CFDD) According to the TTBS‟ website, “he primary role of TTBS is to develop, promote and enforce standards in order to improve the quality and performance of goods produced or used in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago… TTBS‟ mandate includes all goods except food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, pesticides and agricultural produce.” On the other hand, the Chemistry Food and Drugs Division (CFDD) is responsible for inspecting and approving the food and drugs of any person, broker or business that

wishes to import, sell or manufacture them in Trinidad and Tobago. CFDD states that it „is the local regulatory and standards monitoring agency that monitors all aspects of the importation, manufacture, storage, distribution, sale, fraud and deception in labelling and marketing, and disposal of food and drugs. This process ensures the quality, purity and safety of food and drugs imported or manufactured in Trinidad and Tobago.‟ TTBS makes contributions to regional standards on behalf of Trinidad and Tobago at the CARICOM Regional Organization for Standards and Quality (CROSQ), in accordance with the CROSQ Act 2005. CROSQ is responsible for harmonizing regional standards, many of which are food related. Given CFDD‟s legislated oversight of all food and drugs standards, inspection and approval, TTBS depends on the CFDD for its contributions to those standards at the CROSQ level. Food and Beverages, Drugs and Cosmetics – importance to the domestic economy The Central Statistical Office (CSO) has consistently reported, through its Index of Domestic Production, the weight that the Food and Beverage Sector, along with Pharmaceutical Drugs and Cosmetics, carry in the Trinidad and Tobago economy. The weighted average of these industries combined is roughly 13% of total goods produced, third behind oil and gas production and petrochemicals, and this figure spans the period 2006 – 2011. In this context, the role that the Chemistry Food and Drugs Division must play in ensuring that all local manufacturers and distributors of these industries are allowed to flourish has to be emphasized. Food and Drug standards must always be fairly and uniformly enforced, and must also remain relevant to the constantly evolving 21st century business environment. At the CARICOM level, it is critical that T&T makes its contribution to regional standards that will have an impact on its trade relations with the rest of its regional counterparts. Go to the next page



... Monitoring & enforcement of the food, drugs & cosmetics industry in Trinidad & Tobago (2/2) How can the CFDD and industry improve their relations for mutual benefit? With a clear appreciation for the relationship between Food and Drug standards (setting and enforcement) and the development of the sub sectors mentioned above, one major recommendation is that the relevant business stakeholders be given ample opportunity to contribute to the development of these standards in Trinidad and Tobago. This does not obtain in our country at present. According to international best practice as outlined by the ISO, one of the strengths of its standards is that „they are created by the people that need them. Industry experts drive all aspects of the standard development process, from deciding whether a new standard is needed to defining all the technical content.‟ In T&T‟s arrangement national Food and Drug Advisory Committees can be used as the vehicle upon which these industry positions on standards can be driven. It therefore puts the onus on the government to ensure that these committees are properly constituted and administered. Assuming this is done, the next step would be to ensure that the CFDD is adequately outfitted with the resources, personnel, and service delivery systems that would allow them to properly enforce these standards across the industry.

Communication is also critical and is another area where improvements can be made. Timely correspondence between the business sector and the CFDD (and in turn, between the CFDD and the TTBS in the context of regional standards), will help to ensure that standards are always well known, and that the results of inspections are formally presented to those requiring approval. Business efficiency depends on this timeliness and formal communication. If the expectations of either the business sector or the CFDD with respect to communication are not being met, there must be a mechanism though which this is expressed, evaluated and change enacted, where necessary. Ultimately, the „invisible hand‟ of the free market can serve as the ideal hub around which the structure of the Chemistry Food and Drugs Division can be framed. While the government has an overarching responsibility for the health of its citizens and of the economy, the private sector also has a vested interest in these elements on a micro level, in the context of satisfying their customers and maximizing profits. The difference is that the unmistakable quest for efficiency, with its clear impact on competitiveness, will drive the private sector to demand that this Division is always functioning optimally. If you may have any queries regarding the subject at caption, kindly contact Mr. Marc Sandy– TTMA Research Officer (Business Development Unit) at: (868) 675-8862 Ext. 241/ Email:

Investment opportunities in T&T... Contact


Industry: Creative Industries Project: Establishment of a 50-60 seat animation studio - See more at: Industry: ICT - Business Process Outsourcing Project: Establishment of a large BPO firm/English Voice Services - See more at: Industry: Maritime Project: Establishment of Drydocking Facilities - See more at: Project: Establishment of Offshore Bulk Transshipment Port - See more at: offshore-bulk-transshipment-port

Investt- The Investor Sourcing & Facilitation Division The Atrium, Don Miguel Road Extension, El Socorro, Trinidad W.I. Tel. +1 (868) 638-0038/ Email:



Rules: All of them made to be broken…?

First, let‟s state the obvious: there are vast differences among the manufacturing capabilities of companies worldwide. Second, the concept of globalisation has resulted in the world becoming a singular marketplace. Consequently, companies are increasingly plying their goods and services in foreign countries. Given these two realities, how are companies supposed to compete against each other in a civilised and fair manner? The simple answer is RULES! The World Trade Organisation (WTO) is the international body that is responsible for the correct application and enforcement of the rules of international trade. The preamble of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (1994) states that, “The objective of the multilateral system for trade in goods created by the GATT is to provide industries and business enterprises from different countries a secure, stable and predictable environment in which they can trade with one another under conditions of fair and equitable competition.” It is within this context that whenever trade agreements are negotiated, they must include rules of origin. These rules speak to the quantity and source of your inputs, production or transformation processes and even methods of shipment! In layman‟s terms, rules of origin are the set of criteria used by Governments to ascertain the country in which a good was produced i.e. from where it originated. This is becoming increasingly challenging given that companies are sourcing inputs from and doing semi-processing in multiple foreign countries. As members of CARICOM, Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica are parties to a number of trade agreements with countries such as Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and the European Union. All these agreements have Annexes which detail specific rules of origin for each product covered in the agreement. It should be noted that in order to export to other CARICOM countries, there are also rules for determining origin as outlined in the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.

Consider the following example of production of a Boeing 787 Dreamliner aeroplane. The parts are literally manufactured all over the globe – wings in Japan; passenger doors in France; software development in India and power distribution and management systems in the United States. While many other countries are included in the production process, final assembly takes place in the United States. When this is the case, there needs to be clear guidelines on what is involved in determining country of origin. This is representative of the manufacturing processes employed by many companies large and small all over the world. Now why is this relevant to business? As a manufacturer, if you intend to export your goods to these markets, you would want to know whether or not your products qualify for preferential treatment such as a reduced tariff rate. It is also important to determine origin for the application of labelling and marking requirements such as the “Made in....” label for your goods. Finally, originating criteria are needed to establish when restrictive border measures are applicable, for example anti-dumping duties or safeguard measures. Admittedly, the technical jargon surrounding this topic can be daunting and most times companies only enquire about them if they encounter problems at the port of entry in the export country. But, if you wish to expand your business into the international arena and really take advantage of the trade agreements that have been negotiated, it is critically important for you to become familiar with the rules that govern international trade. If you haven‟t already, don‟t hesitate to speak with a representative at your Business Support Organisation for further information. Finally, in the words of T.S. Eliot “It's not wise to violate rules until you know how to observe them.” ¹ Rules of origin are specific to trade in goods and do not apply to trade in services.

Contribution from Ms. Stacey Honoré– Research & Trade Economist (Trade & Business Development Unit) T&T Chamber of Industry and Commerce. If you wish to have more details on this topic, kindly contact Ms. Honoré at: (868) 637-6966/ Email:



Technological progress and developments in T&T: Customs and Trade Facilitation… Innovation is a very powerful tool in the general scheme of business and economic life and, with respect to Customs administration across the globe, it is equally as powerful. More specifically, in a global business environment where technological advancements render change as the only constant, the requirement for Customs to constantly innovate can by no means be understated. There has been consensus among both public and private sector stakeholders that the Trinidad and Tobago‟s Customs and Excise Division has been in need of transformation for several years. Both its physical infrastructure and its customer service delivery systems have historically been less than adequate, creating bottlenecks that have been, to put it mildly, undesirable for importers and exporters alike. With this in mind, the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers‟ Association (TTMA) has been a strong advocate for the modernization of Customs and Excise operations for the greater part of the last decade. Various avenues have been utilized in its relentless lobbying efforts for improved service delivery through the use of cutting edge technology, so that importers and exporters, along with the wider national community, can benefit from the efficiency which ASYCUDA World implementation was created to facilitate. TTMA shares a close working relationship with the Customs and Excise Division, as well as its line Ministry, the Ministry of Finance. From the vantage point of its administration of the Customs and Excise chaired National Transport and Logistics Committee, the TTMA has consistently lobbied for ASYCUDA World implementation directly to the Comptroller of Customs and Excise, and the Association believes that this working relationship has borne fruit and commends the Comptroller on the progress made in this regard. Most of the TTMA members have reported that they are in fact conducting electronic self assessment and that the transition has been smooth and highly beneficial. With respect to its work with the Ministry of Finance, TTMA‟s Budget Recommendations to the Ministry has

routinely included the need for urgent ASYCUDA World implementation, along with other the overarching need to amend Customs and Excise legislation that will allow the system to be fully functional with all its elements. TTMA continues to monitor the progress being made, and maintains its cordial and productive relationship with Customs and Excise on ASYCUDA World and its role in creating the seamless movement of goods into and out of Trinidad and Tobago. Moreover, the modernization of Customs and Excise is a microcosm in the conceptual „one-stop shop‟ framework that is supposed to reform the way in which businesses conduct transactions with the regulatory bodies of Trinidad and Tobago. The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment (MTII) continues to work on its Single Electronic Window platform, our ports of entry and exit have implemented the NAVIS SPARCS N4 system for its customers, the Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards (TTBS) is working towards integrated its systems with the Single Electronic Window, and various local shipping agents have begun to submit manifest (shipping) information electronically. All of these developments bode well for our business community and our country as we prepare to deal with the challenges and opportunities that the expansion of the Panama Canal in 2014/2015 will bring. The TTMA challenges manufacturers, regulators, our government and our entire citizenry to commit not only to being innovators as the theme indicates, but to strive for efficiency in every sphere of life. While we are pleased at the progress being made in our local Customs Division, let us all play our part in spurring new levels of innovation, productivity and economic growth in 2013. Heartfelt thanks to our colleague Mr. Marc Sandy– TTMA Research Officer (Business Development Unit) for this very informative article. Ms. Sandy can be contacted at : (868) 675-8862 Ext. 241/ Email:



The Government’s involvement in the Fashion Industry of T&T! and internationally and establish a platform for local fashion designers with the aim of promoting Trinbagonian Fashion Wear in domestic as well as international arenas. In an effort to promote the business and export development of the Fashion Industry the GORTT had approved the establishment of the Fashion Industry Development Committee (FIDC). The FIDC throughout its one and a half years of existence has provided tremendous support to the local Fashion Industry through several initiatives undertaken as a result Stunning collection of one of T&T leading Fashion Designer, Mr. Robert Young of “The Cloth”. of industry needs highlighted through Trinidad and Tobago has long been recognized as a stakeholder consultation. However, the scope and role leader in the fashion industry in the Caribbean. This repu- of this committee is inadequate to handle the requiretation is built on a tradition that includes skilled tailors, ments of a developing Fashion Industry. Institutional seamstresses and patternmakers although much of these capacity and increased finances are required to take earlier successes remain undocumented. the local Fashion Industry to the next stage of its development. During the period 1960-1985 there was a vibrant garment industry in Trinidad and Tobago. In 1978, 130 garment- In an effort to provide the Trinidad and Tobago Fashmanufacturing firms were registered with 7,000 persons ion Industry with the appropriate mechanisms and instibeing employed in the sector. tutions to support its development the ministry has seen Simultaneously, the economy experienced a burgeoning it fit to establish the Trinidad and Tobago Fashion Fashion Industry, with a range of successful local fashion Company (FashionTT) that would soon take over the designers emerging in the 1980‟s and 1990‟s.Notable responsibilities of the FIDC with an increase in the brand names emerging in the industry include Heather width and depth of its scope. Jones Designs, Claudia Pegus Designs, Meiling, The Cloth, Millhouse Clothing, Zadd& Eastman, Earth To provide insight into the specific areas of focus reMember 4 Life, Peter Elias, Francis, Janouras Custom quired for the development of this industry the GORTT Design and more recently, Anya Ayoung Chee, winner has commenced work to formulate a Strategic Plan for of Season 9 of the “Project Runway” Lifetime TV pro- the Fashion Industry of Trinidad and Tobago. The gramme. FashionTT with the direction provided by this Strategic Plan will address some of the key areas of focus In an effort to steer the economy of Trinidad and Tobago that include: Business and Export Development, Buildaway from its overreliance on revenues generated within ing Manufacturing Capacity, Human Resource Develthe Energy Industry, the Government of the Republic of opment and Developing and Enforcing of Standards. Trinidad and Tobago (GORTT) has seen it fit to identify and support alternative paths to economic growth and The Government‟s efforts to develop this industry has development. ultimately led to a public/private sector partnerships which in the long haul will prove to be crucial to the To sustain this diversification thrust, the GORTT has continued formulation of policies to create the enabling identified the Fashion Industry of Trinidad and Tobago as environment necessary for the sustainable development one of its key areas for development in the pursuit of a of an internationally competitive Fashion Industry in more diversified, knowledge intensive economy. The Trinidad and Tobago. Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment has therefore committed to developing excellence and growth in the Fashion Industry so that it is transformed into an industry Contribution from Mr. Mario Romany– Industry Spethat contributes significantly to economy of Trinidad and cialist (Business Development Directorate) at the Tobago and develops the country‟s position as a major Ministry of Trade, Industry & Investment. For further player in the international fashion arena. information about this subject matter, please feel free to contact Mr. Romany at: (868) 623-2931 Ext. 2216/ To achieve this goal the Ministry has initiated efforts to Email: encourage our local designers to grow their brands locally



Don’t miss one of TTMA’ Signature event... !

Are you interested in doing business with T&T? The services offered by the Trade Facilitation Desk:     

Informing Jamaican businesses (among others) about import regulations & entry requirements into T&T, as well as representing their interests; Facilitating networking and business match-making with T&T companies to improve trade; Addressing major areas of concern/issues to the relevant trade institutions & regulatory agencies in T&T and Jamaica (intermediating with such arms as customs, the standards authorities, and helping with negotiating the bureaucracy) and offering support solutions; Assisting in organization of trade missions to T&T (planning, ground support and follow up); Undertaking consultations with prospective exporters, business support organizations, and representatives of the public sector institutions that play key roles in the export process in T&T and Jamaica. If you should require any information, please feel free to contact Mrs. Naika Pichi-Ayers, Jamaica-T&T Trade Desk Officer at: (868) 675-8862 Ext. 239 Email: Webpage:

Jamaica trade desk news issue 7 september 2013  

The Jamaica Trade Desk News is a monthly newsletter created under the initiative of the Jamaica-T&T Trade Facilitation Desk. The main obje...

Jamaica trade desk news issue 7 september 2013  

The Jamaica Trade Desk News is a monthly newsletter created under the initiative of the Jamaica-T&T Trade Facilitation Desk. The main obje...