The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis on July 5th, 2001 signed on to the Revised Treaty of Basseterre (RTB) which sets out in the agreement the implementation of a Customs Union and a Regime for the Free Circulation of Goods within the wide-ranging context of the Eastern Caribbean Economic Union. Our Federation is in the process of implementing this Regime to create a single economic space under which goods are allowed to circulate freely within the Region.
The Free Circulation of Goods (FCG) regime prohibits the application of import duties and requires the removal of any import formalities on goods traded between Protocol Member States. The following requirements are to be fulfilled upon the importation of goods:
- physical requirements – multiple agency approvals, documentary checks, physical inspections of goods;
- technical requirements – licences & permits, standards & technical regulations and
- fiscal requirements – Customs duties, other duties and charges (ODCs), inspection fees.
The Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission carried out a mission in St. Kitts over a two-day period, April 5th and 6th 2017 to ensure that Federation’s key stakeholders are fully kept abreast of this Regime. The team consisted of Mr. Cosbert Woods, Programme Officer, Trade Policy Unit of the OECS Commission.
The Ministry of International Trade, Industry, Commerce, and Consumer Affairs partnered with the Consultant and hosted meetings with numerous stakeholders such as The Ministry Of Agriculture, Fisheries & Marine Resources, The Ministry of Health, The Ministry of Sustainable Development (Department of Environment), The Bureau of Standards, The Chamber of Industry & Commerce, The Customs & Excise Department, St. Christopher Air & Seaport Authority (SCASPA) and numerous manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and exporters.
The Ministry together with the Consultant were able to meet the objectives of the meetings which were to outline the guiding principles for the establishment of an OECS Customs Union and the Free Circulation of Goods, the Draft Procedural requirements for operationalizing the OECS Customs Union and the Free Circulation of Goods and the OECS (Sanitary & Phyto-sanitary) SPS Policy and Draft Protocols.
The Ministry of International Trade, Industry, Commerce, and Consumer Affairs continues to work alongside the relevant Organizations and Ministries to ensure the seamless implementation of the Free Circulation of Goods Regime in our Federation.