Keeping in the loop

─ Workshop being held to update exporters on requirements for EU markets

By Nikosi Bruce

DPI, Guyana, Monday, May 20, 2019

The CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) in collaboration with The German Society for International Co-operation is conducting a three-day workshop for Labelling and Packaging of Pre-Packaged Goods.

The workshop targets Caribbean countries which are part of the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement. This agreement aids in facilitating trade between member states of the two parties which signed on to it.

The continually changing nature of world trade requirements, as well as elements that vary by country, make trading difficult if one is not aware of the current status quo.

This has led to the need for regular dissemination of information, something that CROSQ and GIZ are committed to making happen, as GIZ’s Technical Trade Advisor, Sanya Alleyne explained in her opening remarks.

“The GIZ and CROSQ secretariat worked together in conceptualizing this workshop to assist CARIFORUM Firms to enhance their knowledge on the standards and regulations required for labelling and packaging of pre-packaged goods for export to the European Union.”

The decline in tariffs between the trading parties has led to the implementation of Non-tariff systems to ensure that the products being traded are of the highest quality and adhere to Public Health Safety Regulations. “Within this dynamic, CARIFORUM exporters are constantly in need of regular and relevant dissemination of information to assist their production, packaging and labelling activities for their finished goods,” Alleyne further stated.

Trade between the EU and the Caribbean had been favourable to the Caribbean because of non-reciprocal preferential markets granted through the trade relationship fostered between the European Economic Community (EEC) and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP).

The CARIFORUM-EU EPA saw the introduction of the reciprocal grant of preferences to both sides. This ultimately led to the opening of markets on the EU front. “We have opened our market for all the goods excluding arms and munitions. From day one there were some temporary limitations for rice and sugar but they are gone, whereas the CARIFORUM Countries began really opening the market over a period of 25 years and even when you enter new markets, you will open new markets only for 87% of goods. Meaning that the most sensitive goods and products will remain protected even after the expiration of the transition period,” Trade Policy Manager for the EU Delegation, Adam Wisniewski explained.

The CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement was a landmark accord to allow for the trading of goods, and the investment and trade in services, trade-related issues, and development cooperation.

Images: Keno George