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OSHA Workshop

The New TIC 2014

The New TIC 2014

Comptroller of

Update on

Customs visits


the TTMA

Canada Trade Agreement


In Focus MAY 2014

Chemical Safety Information (MSDS and Labels)

On April 30th, 2014 the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA), in collaboration with the Occupational Safety and Health Authority and Agency (OSHA) hosted a workshop on ‘Chemical Safety Information (MSDS and Labels’. The objectives of the workshop were to: sensitize participants about the importance of chemical safety, educate participants about OSHA’s legislation on health and safety and address issues of legal compliance with chemical safety in the workplace. The workshops featured presentations from the Pesticide and Chemical Toxic Inspectorate (Mr. Richard Glasgow), OSHA (Mr. Ryan Rambaran) and Arts in Action Creative Arts Group, University of the West Indies. The target audience comprised of employers and >> CONT. PAGE TWO

TTMA In Focus

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Chemical Safety Information (cont’d) Mr. Glasgow provided participants with an indepth presentation on the importance of labelling to safety and health in the use of chemicals at work. In an effort to promote safety in the workplace, he encouraged participants to: read labels and material safety data sheets (MSDS); follow instructions for use of chemicals – especially hazardous chemicals; and partake in chemical safety training programmes for effective management of chemicals. Mr. Rambaran sought to address the issue of legal compliance with chemical safety by emphasizing key aspects of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, 2004. Subsequently, Arts in Action Creative Arts Group provided a practical setting to the workshop via an interactive skit on chemical safety which sought to reinforce the information dispelled in the preceding presentations.

OSHA partnered with umbrella organizations, such as the TTMA, to better access their members. In line with TTMA’s mission to promote competitiveness and growth, as well as an environment that will result in the sustainability of the manufacturing sector, the Association welcomed the opportunity to partner with OSHA on this venture, given that TTMA’s membership comprises a large percentage of companies whose business operations involve the production, distribution and utilization of chemicals. Therefore, in moving forward, TTMA expects that the exposition of its members to this workshop will generate substantial benefits to their operations in the future, particularly from a cost and productivity perspective.

The Chemical Safety Information (MSDS and Labels) workshop constituted a part of OSHA’s National Occupational Health and Safety (NOSH) Week 2014 - themed “Safety and health in the Use of Chemicals at Work” which took place from April 28 to May 02, 2014. NOSH Week 2014 comprised of a number of other workshops and outreach activities related to varying aspects of chemical safety. The event was aimed at changing the “cultural mind-set” of health and safety issues in the workplace - in light of the incidences of workrelated deaths in Trinidad and Tobago. Statistics have revealed that in 2012 and 2013, there have been 22 and 23 work-related deaths respectfully, in the country. Thus, in an effort to effectively reach a wider cross-section of workers in local companies/organizations, >> CONT. PAGE THREE

TTMA In Focus

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The New TIC 2014 With just under three months to go before the big show, arrangements for the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers Association’s (TTMA’s) 15th annual Trade and Investment Convention (TIC) are firmly in place to make the show truly commemorative of its 15-year milestone. TIC takes place from the 2nd – 5th July, 2014 at the Center of Excellence, Macoya. More than two thirds of exhibitor spaces (some 200+ booths)

need for more space that allows higher interaction with buyers, convenient parking and access to amenities. With this expanse of floor space, TIC took the opportunity to incorporate a number of Pavilions located in premium spots on the trade show floor. These Pavilions vary in size and price and are offered with value added benefits and services which include high profile branding, advertisements, press articles and invitations to networking events. B2B Coordination this year is prioritized. One of the features that has consistently been reported as ‘a major attraction’ by both exhibitors and buyers, is that of business to business, matchmaking and networking. This year, TIC is paying special attention to business to business coordination and matchmaking by providing personalized pre-registration for both exhibitors and buyers in addition to having an executive lounge in the trade show to allow for exhibitors and buyers to meet and negotiate.

Arial shot of the Trade and Investment Convention 2013

have been booked and the show is now rapidly attracting a varied cross section of regional and international buyers. There are several key reasons why this year is special: Booth prices are much lower this year (up to 50% lower than last year) as the TTMA wanted to ensure that a wider range of small and medium sized manufacturers would be able to exhibit and participate in the Convention. TIC 2014 is back at the Center of Excellence in Macoya as exhibitors have expressed a

Time (and booth spaces) are also quickly running out – if you are interested in TIC 2014 as an exhibitor, today is the day you should make contact with the trade show secretariat. If you are already a registered exhibitor, avoid procrastinating until the days of the show to arrange meetings with buyers. Start scheduling your meetings with buyers interested in your products right away! Contact (868) 675 8862 or e-mail If you wish to attend the show as a buyer, register your company at Participation is free of charge. As TIC celebrates its 15th anniversary as the Caribbean’s biggest business-to-business event, it’s better than ever before as the premier event to find new opportunities and forge new partnerships to meet the challenge of today’s tough economy! >> CONT. PAGE FOUR

TTMA In Focus

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Comptroller of Customs visits the TTMA On Wednesday 23rd April 2014, the TTMA’s Board of Directors met with the Acting Comptroller of Customs and Excise, Mr. Ammar Samaroo for an open and informative discussion on areas in which our respective organizations can engage in mutual support. Our TTMA President, Mr. Nicholas Lok Jack, commenced the discussion by congratulating Mr. Samaroo on his acting appointment, whilst TTMA’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Ramesh Ramdeen echoed these sentiments and emphasized the importance of building on the good relationships the Association has shared with Comptrollers of the past. Mr. Ramdeen then identified briefly some of the core Customs and Excise Trade Facilitation outstanding matters affecting the TTMA membership, such as the integration of the Customs Border Control System (CBCS/ ASYCUDA World) with TTBizLink and the urgent need for container scanners. He then gave Mr. Samaroo the opportunity to present some of the work that Customs and Excise has been doing to support the business sector.

able to Customs for importers through a lump sum deposit paid into the account of the Comptroller of Customs and Excise, a First Citizens Bank account). Some importers are already using this facility.

The process simply involves a banking payment of the lump sum amount from the importer’s account According to Mr. Samaroo, Customs and Exinto the account of the Comptroller of Customs and cise (through the office of the Comptroller) will Excise, with the lump sum amount being defined by operate an open door policy with the TTMA, the importer to cover an estimated period/amount so as to ensure that all concerns being experi- of transaction. At present, First Citizens Bank has enced by manufacturers are fully aired and built a fully fledged backend electronic system that can be resolved in the shortest possible time. allows FCB to cycle funds from an online system One of the ways in which this communication directly into the Comptroller’s FCB account. will be facilitated is through the TTMA’s representation at the Customs chaired Transport In terms of timeframes for major matters affecting and Logistics Roundtable, which meets on a the efficacy of Customs and Excise, the TTBizLink quarterly basis and also involves stakeholders and CBCS merger, which was supposed to be from other members of the maritime commucompleted on April 7th, is still undergoing testing nity. and is due to be completed very soon, according to Mr. Samaroo. This promises to be a major boon to One of the initiatives which Customs and ExTrade Facilitation by making more efficient the regcise intends to continue is its drawdown facili- ulatory processes involved in clearing inbound and ty, which allows for payment of all fees payoutbound consignments. >> CONT. PAGE FIVE

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TTMA In Focus

Update on CARICOM-Canada Trade Agreement Negotiations The Government of Trinidad and Tobago continues to expand the market space for manufacturers to trade freely. Thus, the twin-island republic is currently engaged in negotiations with El Salvador for the creation of a Partial Scope Agreement between the two countries. These negotiations are being conducted subsequent to the negotiations of two other Agreements with Latin American countries (i.e. Guatemala and Panama). Both parties are discussing the removal of import duties on several tariff lines, so that their respective manufacturers can have an increased trading arena. If the agreement is signed, Trinidad and Tobago’s manufacturers can benefit from El Salvador’s population of 6.297 million. As with other trade agreements, the only goods which will benefit are those that meet the product-specific rules of origin. This ensures that any inputs used from outside of Trinidad & Tobago and/or El Salvador are subject to substantial transformation, thus removing the possibility of any country exporting goods which are merely imports from a third party (this should alleviate fears from some manufacturers who believe that El Salvador may be used as a transhipment country for goods from other Central American Common Market countries). Other areas on which negotiations have been held include sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures (SPS) and technical barriers to trade (TBT).

access. Furthermore, emanating from those discussions was a list of outstanding issues on which the local manufacturing community was consulted. All of the responses received from the TTMA membership were communicated to the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Investment and Communications. Negotiations are scheduled to resume on May 5, 2014, and will continue until May 22, 2014 via videoconference. During this period, both Trinidad & Tobago and El Salvador will be seeking as many concessions as possible, and the TTMA will be engaging manufacturers once more for its views on these concessions. In this regard, the Association expresses its thanks for the support and responses received thus far, and it looks forward to the responses that will be received in the future. For further information on the negotiations, please contact the TTMA at 675-8862 ext. 225 or

As at Thursday, May 1, 2014, there have been three rounds of negotiations between both parties. The third round was held in El Salvador from April 7 to April 11, 2014. During that round, manufacturers were consulted on various products on which El Salvador sought preferential >> CONT. PAGE SIX

TTMA Staff Profile Meet Arianne Phillip —Research Officer, Business Development Unit

Ms. Phillip is a Research Officer in the Business Development Unit (BDU) at the TTMA Secretariat. As a budding Economist, Ms. Phillip’s role is to support and enhance the operations of the Business Development Unit. Her present responsibilities include empirical research, data compilation and analysis, preparation of articles/reports and implementing initiatives to promote the growth and sustainable development of the TTMA membership. Prior to joining the TTMA in 2013, Ms. Phillip was temporarily employed at the Ministry of Planning and Sustainable Development, the Centre for Health Economics (HEU), UWI, St. Augustine and the Central Statistical Office of Trinidad & Tobago. Ms. Phillip holds a Master of Science degree in Economics from UWI, St. Augustine along with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and Statistics, from UWI, Mona Jamaica.

TTMA Welcomes its Newest Members Chaguaramas Development Authority

Trinidad Chocolate Factory Limited

Airway Road, Chaguaramas Tel: 868-634-4227 Fax: 868-634-4311 Email:

5, Bayview Avenue, Grove Park, Otaheite Tel: 868-677-3455 Fax: 868-628-2167 Email:

Service provider of Tours and Recreational Activities

Manufacturer of Branded Cocoa and Chocolate Products

| Trinidad & Tobago Manufacturers' Association | 42 Tenth Avenue, Barataria | Phone 868-675-8862 | Fax 868-675-9000 | Email | URL: | Facebook


TTMA In Focus Issue 4 - April 2014