Cuba expands CARICOM duty-free market access to over 320 items


The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and Cuba have signed the Second Protocol to an Agreement that will expand access to each other’s markets for goods.

The Second Protocol to the Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement was signed by CARICOM Secretary-General, Irwin LaRocque, and Cuban Ambassador to CARICOM, Julio Cesar Gonzalez Marchante, during the opening of the 45th Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) in Georgetown, Guyana on Thursday.

Under the Second Protocol, Cuba will expand duty-free access to more than 320 items including meat, fish, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, beer, rum, cement, soap and apparel.

CARICOM, on the other hand, will grant duty-free access to some 50 items, including fish, pharmaceutical products, fertilisers and articles of iron and steel. The Community will also offer differentiated treatment on 22 items. The differentiated treatment includes phased reduction of duty by Most Developed Countries in CARICOM.

CARICOM and Cuba signed the first Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement on 5 July 2000. The Agreement provides for, among other things, the promotion and expansion of trade in goods and services, by means of free access to the markets of the Parties, elimination of non-tariff barriers to trade, the establishment of a system of Rules of Origin, harmonisation of technical and sanitary and phytosanitary measures.

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