A Caribbean Community Market Access Facilitation System – the Caribbean Exporter Gateway – has come on stream. Via the Gateway, exporters within the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) will be able to better access information on market access conditions for exporting to each other, as well as to selected countries with which CARICOM has concluded bilateral trade agreements.
The system was developed in response to the needs of Caribbean exporters. It is a customised software application developed by Atom Solutions Inc. and its partner SigmaSoft Inc. It will be administered by various stakeholders.
Exporters from 12 member states will benefit from the system. They are Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. They will also be able to query the system to get information on the export of their products to each other, and to Cuba, Costa Rica, or the Dominican Republic. The system is designed to allow for other types of information on access requirements, as well as other preferential trading partners at a later date.
The electronic platform will contain information on tariffs, rules of origin and non-tariff measures, including sanitary and phyto-sanitary requirements, import licences and other duties and charges. It will also serve as a resource tool for academics, private sector researchers and others interested in obtaining market access information for the countries included in the platform.
The system was developed with funding from Spain under the CARICOM-Spain Joint Fund. It followed a consultancy which was commissioned by the Secretariat for a study to identify and assess the reasons affecting CARICOM’s trade performance under existing Agreements with the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Colombia, Cuba and Venezuela. One of the findings of the study was that there was no single easily accessible source of information available to exporters on market access conditions that were applicable to the bilateral and other preferential markets. Improving the accessibility of information to CARICOM exporters on market access conditions applicable to the bilateral trade partner countries was one of recommendations.