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What is the CARIFORUM-EU EPA?

The CARIFORUM-EC Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) is a trade and development agreement. The EPA was signed in 2008 by the 15 CARIFORUM members and the 27 EU countries and replaced the trade provisions of the Cotonou Agreement, signed in 2000. While the Caribbean and the EU have shared a long history of trading arrangements, this agreement was different.

For starters, this was the first time the trading arrangement between the two regions was reciprocal – meaning that both regions had opened its markets to each other. This reciprocal agreement was necessary to ensure compatibility with the rules of World Trade Organization (WTO), of which the CARIFORUM and EU countries are all members. However, this was not the sole reason for negotiating the new agreement.

Despite having benefited from preferential access to the EU market for over 35 years, the Caribbean had made little progress in taking advantage of export opportunities beyond the export of traditional commodities (e.g. sugar, bananas, rum). It was recognized that CARIFORUM needed to change its approach to the EU market. The EPA includes a strong development dimension and provides support towards improving the region’s capacity to trade competitively.

The EPA covers goods and, for the first time, services; investment; trade issues; sustainable development; regional integration and development cooperation.

EPA Components

The EPA is divided into six parts and contains annexes and protocols. The main sections are as follows:

  • Part I: Trade Partnership for Sustainable Development

  • Part II: Trade and Trade-related Matters

  • Title I. Trade in Goods

  • Title II. Investment, Trade in Services and E-commerce

  • Title III. Current Payments and Capital Movements

  • Title IV. Trade-related Issues

  • Part IV: General Exceptions

  • Part V: Institutional Provisions

  • Part VI: General and Final Provisions

  • Seven Annexes

  • Three Protocols

  • Final Act

CARIFORUM Countries

Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago.
EU Countries Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom

To learn more about the EPA, please contact the Jamaica Trade Agreements Implementation Coordination Unit (TAICU).

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