CARICOM Member States becoming increasingly important trade partners for Belize

Although the USA and the UK are said to be Belize’s top trading partners, the biggest declines in export sales so far this year were recorded for those destinations. Meanwhile, CARICOM countries are becoming increasingly important trade partners for Belize, particularly as they are now buying more of Belize’s main exports. All of the crude Belize sells now goes to Barbados, although exports were down for the first quarter.

The Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) has published details on its website. The data indicates that of the nearly $23 million in export earnings Belize garnered from CARICOM for the first three months of the year, $8.7 million was from Barbados, $7 million from Jamaica and $5.9 million from Trinidad and Tobago. However, there was a fall in earnings from all three countries, with the most substantial decline in monetary value being for exports to Barbados.

Trinidad and Jamaica both buy sugar, and orange and grapefruit concentrate from Belize. In addition to the citrus concentrate juices, Barbados buys crude oil from Belize. Citrus concentrate juices are also the main domestic export which Guatemala takes from Belize.

Read more at: The Reporter

Caribbean customs departments aim to improve business facilitation, trade

One regional association is about to turn up the pressure on Barbados and other Caribbean territories that have not yet fully implemented systems in their customs department to improve business facilitation and trade.

Officials of the revamped Caribbean Association of Customs Brokers (CACUB), say after a nine-year hiatus, the organisation has a renewed mission – to make the clearing of goods in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) more efficient and to improve the ranking in the Doing Business report.

Customs Broker Louis Forde told Barbados TODAY a “major problem” contributing to the inefficiency in customs in Barbados was the slow implementation of the ASYCUDA World system and the Electronic Single Window. ASYCUDA is a computerised customs management system, which generates trade data and covers most foreign trade procedures including accounting and customs declaration.

Forde said a major part of the delay in fully implementing the ASYCUDA World system, an upgrade to ASYCUDA, was the deferral in merging the Customs Department into the Barbados Revenue Authority over the past three years.

“That is why we have not implemented our ASYCUDA World or have other systems implemented because [of] the labour aspect. You have the will on the political side to move everyone into a revenue authority, but the staff does not want to go,” Forde told Barbados TODAY, following a recent one-day meeting of CACUB members at the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) office.

Read more at: Barbados Today