For new (firms) and potential exporters Caribbean Export can help provide tools and techniques to achieve success in international markets.

The ITC Market Access Database contains extensive information about market access conditions EU and non-EU countries.

Take a look at the short guides on:

•        Identifying and Researching your target Market

Download our latest issue of TradeWatch – Caribbean Export online newsletter with updates on the activities from Caribbean Export including our Calendar of Events for information on upcoming workshops, meetings, trade promotion events, Direct Assistance Grant Scheme Call for Proposals etc.

Enterprises in general but Artisans in particular may review the information in the following information on Market Access Manual for Artisans Navigating the US & UK Market Dec. 2010.

This guide provides a step by step practical approach for present and future artisans interested in raising their export competitiveness and positioning their goods in US and UK markets. Based on the export opportunities presented by the CARIFORUM‐European Community (EC) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) the manual will also provide practical information on market access opportunities and limitations in the European Union (EU) with specific reference to United Kingdom (UK) market, how to penetrate these markets, and how to establish important points of contact.

Another useful Caribbean Export publication for the Artisans is the Report on the Guidelines for technical regulations and standards in the European Union market for artisanal products . This report presents guidelines for technical regulations and standards which are likely to be applied in the European Union (EU) market to the assessment of compliance of artisanal products. The contents of the report are based on information on legislative and non-legislative requirements, obtained from the website ( of the Centre for Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI).

You may also choose to review the Best Practices in Presenting Products to Commercial Representatives in Foreign Markets Dec. 2010 This manual is meant to be used as a guide to Caribbean artisans wanting to assess their export readiness to trade handicraft products to international markets. It should therefore be used as a supporting document to ensure that certain points are considered before entering into major agreements or contracts, but by no means is it meant to be a final template for becoming export ready.

Our comprehensive series of Doing Business with Country Reports provides practical advice and guidance on doing business in a number of countries, exploring in detail the local regulatory standards, political influences and cultural challenges.

Doing Business between CARIFORUM and the French Caribbean

Many CARIFORUM entrepreneurs require on the ground assistance to guide them on the best way to penetrate the French Caribbean markets.

This is the finding of a study commissioned by Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) on Doing Business between CARIFORUM States and the French Caribbean. It also highlights potential areas for mutual growth in the goods and services sectors and possible improvements to the regulatory framework.

Ways in which CARIFORUM goods could gain access to the EU via the French Caribbean Outermost Regions (FCORs) are also analysed. The study also includes individual reports on socio-economic and market access conditions and trade opportunities for nine CARIFORUM countries (Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad & Tobago) and three FCORs (French Guiana, Guadeloupe and Martinique).  In related news, a proposal to consider the establishment of a joint technical management unit that will focus on assisting firms from CARIFORUM and the FCORs in doing business within the French Caribbean and CARIFORUM States respectively was tabled at the recently concluded 6th CARIFORUM/FCOR/Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT) Task Force on Trade and Investment held in late October.

The implications of the Octroi de Mer Tax on Goods exported from CARIFORUM States to the FCORs and its likely effect on export opportunities for CARIFORUM firms was also discussed. The meeting was coordinated by Caribbean Export in collaboration with the FCORs, OECS Secretariat, CARICOM Secretariat and CARFORUM Directorate.

Caribbean Export’s publication on the Opportunities for Doing Business between CARIFORUM and the FCORs provides you with valuable information on the market:

·         Opportunities for Doing Business between CARIFORUM States and the French Caribbean Outermost Regions (FCORs): Volume 1. Consolidated Report

  •          Opportunities for doing business between CARIFORUM states and the French Caribbean Outermost Regions (FCORs): Volume 2 – Individual country reports

Exporting to CARICOM

  •  Export documentation

Export documentation identifies the goods, the terms of sale and provides title to the goods and evidence of insurance coverage, and certifies that the goods are of a certain quality and standard. These documents allow shipment to pass through customs, loaded on a carrier and transported to the destination. Key shipping documents in exporting to CARICOM include:

•          CARICOM Certificate of Origin – a minimum of five (5) copies are required

•          CARICOM Invoice / Commercial Invoice – a minimum of five (5) copies are required.

•          Suppliers’ Packing List – a minimum of five (5) copies are required. This facilitates customs clearance

•       Phytosanitary Certificate / Treatment Certificate – required for the importation of meats, fruits and vegetables, live animals, and plants. For example Barbados, has set up monitoring programmes at its ports of entry to protect the agricultural sector from dangerous insects such as the Red Palm Mite which affects products made of coconut, banana shag, grass and palm. Hence a Phytosanitary Certificate/Treatment Certificate is required for products made of wood, bamboo and grass into Barbados.

•          Bill of Lading – provided by the shipper

  •  Duties and taxes

The Common External Tariff (CET) introduced in January 1991 provides a harmonized coding system and a consistent tariff rate structure for the importation of goods from outside the CARICOM region. The CET sets minimum and maximum duty rates for all member countries. Non- CARICOM goods have a rate structure of 0-20% applied to them. Due to the sensitive nature of the agricultural sector, a rate of 40% is applied.

  •  Additional Taxes

CARICOM countries also apply a number of additional charges to imports. These include

•      Customs Surcharges: these charges are applied on all imports regardless of originate. It is the most commonly used additional trade charge and varies from 2% in Jamaica to 10 per cent in Antigua and Barbuda.

Additional Taxes and Charges: these are all applied against all imports and include, Consumption Tax, Environmental Levy, and Value Added Tax (VAT).

For those involved in the Services Industries may choose to review the series of Strategic Marketing Plan for Promotion of Professional Services Exports of four (4) CARICOM countries. These Strategic Marketing Plans provide a shared understanding of market opportunities and key success factors, and bind stakeholders (public and private) together in a common plan with defined targets, milestones and activities.

·         Strategic Marketing Plan for the Promotion of Professional Services Exports – Saint Lucia

·         Strategic Marketing Plan for the Promotion of Professional Services Exports – Commonwealth of Dominica

·         Strategic marketing plan for the promotion of professional services exports – Trinidad and Tobago

·         Strategic marketing plan for the promotion of professional services exports – Barbados

Read our  TIPS on Develop an Export Plan and start preparing your Export Plan Template. These useful tools will assist you through a series of headings and questions driving you on your export journey and prompting you around the key issues that need to be addressed.

Read on information on Shipping and Logistics to the EU and US.

  1. Next Steps