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What are The Bahamas and UWIC doing about WTO Technical Barriers to Trade?

12 Jun, 2015

In preparation for its ascension to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) The Bahamas, which signed its first reciprocal trade agreement, the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), between CARIFORUM (CARCIOM + the Dominican Republic) and the European Union in 2008, is presently establishing The Bahamas Bureau of Standards and is amending its legislation to be compliant with its obligations under the EPA, and hence the WTO TBT Agreement.

This is important because with the reductions of tariffs due to WTO negotiations, developing countries such as those of CARICOM, should be particularly concerned with the establishment of internationally acceptable standards and regulations to increase their ability to better take advantage of trade opportunities presented in regional and international trade agreements.

The Bahamian Government has engaged UWI Consulting to, among other things, manage a project, which will prescribe standards that will improve the quality of Bahamian exports to better take of advantage of trade agreements, particularly the EC- CARIFORUM EPA.

The main objective of the consultancy is to assess the draft amendments to the relative standards legislation to render the regime in line with international best practices and be compliant with the TBT Agreement.

It is expected that on implementation of the recommendation developed as a result of this project, The Bahamas will have a coherent, WTO compatible Technical Barrier to Trade and Standards regime that reflects the best international practices, lending to a better business environment for importers and exporters alike.