Harmonised procedures necessary for full economic integration – CARICOM Assistant Secretary-General tells customs officials

Harmonised approaches to conducting trade across borders in the Caribbean, and effective customs valuation, are among the steps that must be taken towards full economic integration within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

CARICOM Assistant Secretary-General, Trade and Economic Integration, Mr. Joseph Cox, said on Monday that harmonised laws, procedures and best practices would increase the predictability with intra-regional movement of goods under the CARICOM Single Market and within the context of the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).

He was at the time addressing the opening ceremony of a three-day regional workshop targetting Customs officials from across Caribbean Forum of African Caribbean and Pacific States (CARIFORUM) member states. The workshop on the Single Administrative Document (SAD) and Customs Valuation, is aimed at building capacity in CARIFORUM. The sessions are being held at the CARICOM Secretariat in Georgetown, Guyana.

The Workshop is being facilitated by Mr. Paul Hilaire, Team Leader, and Mr. Martin Wilde, Customs expert and is part of a Project under the ACP TradeCom II Programme funded by the European Union. It has as one of its outcomes, the development of a regional SAD pursuant to Chapter 4 of the EPA, and capacity-building, which requires the promotion of regional integration, and the progressive development of systems to facilitate the electronic exchange of data among traders, customs administrators and related agencies and the implementation of a CARIFORUM SAD.

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Successor Cotonou Agreement must take into account Region’s vulnerabilities – CARIFORUM Council of Ministers

The successor to Cotonou Partnership Agreement between the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) States and the European Union must take into account the inherent and exogenous vulnerabilities of the Caribbean Forum of the ACP States (CARIFORUM) as critical elements in the negotiations.

A Statement of the CARIFORUM Council of Ministers said that successor agreement also had to the take into account the development priorities of the ACP, including CARIFORUM’s priorities, and must aim at sustainable, inclusive and resilient development of the ACP regions.

The Council of Ministers met in St. Kitts and Nevis, 26-27 March, 2018.

At the opening ceremony, CARIFORUM Director General, Mr. Percival Marie, said that the meeting was timely and extremely vital. (more…)

 

CARICOM mounts Observation Mission for elections in Antigua and Barbuda

The Caribbean Community  (CARICOM) has mounted an Observation Mission for Antigua and Barbuda’s General Elections on 21 March 2018.

The eight-member Mission, headed by Mr Keith Lowenfield, Chief Election Officer of the Guyana Elections Commission, and including experienced representatives from The Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago, and support staff from the CARICOM Secretariat, began arriving in Antigua and Barbuda on 15 March.

Since its arrival, the Mission met with the Chairman of the Electoral Commission, the Commissioner of Police, and the Leaders of the United Progressive Party (UPP) and the Democratic National Alliance (DNA), and has paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Gaston Browne.

CARICOM ELECTORAL OBSERVATION MISSION ARRIVAL STATEMENT – Antigua and Barbuda

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CARICOM-Germany sign agreement on financing marine protection in Region

Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Ambassador Irwin LaRocque and Germany’s new Ambassador to CARICOM, His Excellency Holger Michael, signed an agreement totalling 25,700,000 euros on Monday for a Sustainable Financing Mechanism for Marine Protection in the Region.

Ambassador LaRocque had minutes earlier at the Secretariat’s Georgetown, Guyana headquarters received Ambassador Michael’s credentials as his country new representative to the Community.

In thanking Germany, the Secretary-General said the agreement was both timely and relevant, “given our drive to become climate resilient”. Ambassador Michael said the issue of resilience was “close to the heart” of his country and regarded the funding as an important element in the long-standing co-operation between Germany and the Region.

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