Customs Committee of COTED meets

The Meeting in session
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The Customs Committee of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED), met 20-21 September, 2018, at the CARICOM Secretariat in Georgetown, Guyana.

CARICOM Assistant Secretary-General, Trade and Economic Integration, Mr. Joseph Cox, welcomed the participants on behalf of CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque. He pointed out the importance of the Committee”s work to the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).

During the meeting, customs officials from across the Caribbean held discussions on the comprehensive review of the Common External Tariff (CET) and Rules of Origin of CARICOM; the harmonisation of customs forms; tariff classification and the implementation of the CARIFORUM-EU Partnership Agreement.

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With regard to trade facilitation, the officials received a status report on the establishment of a CARIFORUM Single Administrative Document (SAD). The SAD was developed following a recommendation by a study on customs and trade facilitation in CARIFORUM states.

The meeting also heard about the steps being taken towards the implementation of activities of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between CARICOM and the World Customs Organisation. The two organisations signed the MOU in March this year. The main objective of the MOU is enhancing the professionalism and effectiveness of CARICOM Customs administrations through cooperation in the field of technical assistance and capacity-building. The Region should benefit from greater coordination of customs training programmes and pursuit of the most suitable training solutions. There will also be closer cooperation with the WCO in managing development and technical assistance programmes for Customs Administrations, and  capacity-building to improve their efficiency and effectiveness.

Delegates also discussed the CARICOM Customs Procedures Manual, a final draft of which was completed with support from the Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Centre (CARTAC).

They also were updated on database on market access conditions for goods traded under CARICOM bilateral trade agreements. The database became operational in July.

 

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