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SUPPORTING STRATEGIC AND EFFECTIVE IMPLEMENTATION IN CARICOM WORKSHOP
Concluding a long period of planning with the CARICOM Secretariat and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission, the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility (TFAF) hosted a workshop on TFA Implementation in Saint Lucia from 28 January to 1 February 2019.
Participants representing the main border agencies (including trade, customs, SPS agencies and the private sector) were invited from 14 countries: Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.
The key workshop objectives were
• To increase compliance of CARICOM WTO Members with Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) notification obligations and support Members to make timely notifications to the WTO TF Committee, with a focus on pending deadlines
• Strengthen the National Trade Facilitation Committees of participating Members and enhance awareness of the roles and responsibilities of the National and Regional Committees
• To assist policymakers in designing, implementing and monitoring regional trade facilitation reforms
• Facilitate discussions between Members with Category C needs and donors operating in the region
• To enhance participation of the private sector in the implementation of the TFA
• Present and share best practice examples on border agency cooperation in the context of TFA implementation and assist members to improve border agency co-operation
• Support the developing regional approach to TFA implementation, including the first meeting of the regional TF committee, held immediately after this meeting.
Speakers also attended from Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), the International Trade Centre (ITC), the World Customs Organization (WCO), the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), Caribbean Agricultural Health and Food Safety Agency (CAHFSA), DHL, the World Bank Group, Latin America Express Delivery (CLADEC), UNCTAD, the UK Department for International Development (DfID) and the European Union.
6 WTO Members (more than half of those) participating in the workshop submitted a total of 9 notifications with the WTO Trade Facilitation Committee