Events > CARIFORUM-UK Economic Partnership Agreement

CARIFORUM-UK Economic Partnership Agreement

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Following the UK’s departure from the European Union, the UK Government has sought to deliver the maximum possible certainty to businesses and consumers by ensuring continuity in the UK’s existing trade relationships. Recognising CARIFORUM Member States as important partners with potential to increase and diversify our trade relationship, the UK and 14 CARIFORUM States signed the CARIFORUM-UK Economic Partnership Agreement (CARIFORUM-UK EPA), to secure continuity for trade and preservation of market access.

The CARIFORUM-UK EPA took effect on 1st January 2021, when the existing EU agreement ceased to apply to the UK.

The agreement covers key points such as:

  • Certificates and Declarations of Origin

  • Preferential Tariff Rates on Goods

  • Phytosanitary Certification

  • Cumulation of Origin

  • Goods in Transit in an EU Country

You will find treaty documents and more relevant information about trade with the CARIFORUM Member States at the CARIFORUM-UK Economic Partnership Agreement page at GOV.UK.

The Signatory CARIFORUM Member States are:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • The Commonwealth of the Bahamas
  • The Commonwealth of Dominica
  • The Dominican Republic
  • Grenada
  • The Republic of Guyana
  • Jamaica
  • Saint Christopher and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • The Republic of Suriname
  • The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

The Republic of Haiti will be covered by the CARIFORUM-UK EPA once it signs and brings the EPA into effect. Trade with Haiti currently takes place under the UK Generalised Scheme of Preferences. All goods imported from Haiti are eligible for  tariff-free and quota-free access. This does not apply to arms and ammunition.


Facts and Figures on CARIFORUM-UK Trade

  • The EPA provides long-term opportunities for UK businesses to export to dynamic markets in the Caribbean under trading terms which will improve over time. The vast majority of UK goods will enter CARIFORUM at 0% tariff by 2033.

  • By using the EPA, UK’s goods exporters are able to expand supply chains without compromising the EPA benefits. Inputs for production can be sourced from the European Union, UK’s Overseas Countries and Territories and other African, Caribbean and Pacific Countries and UK exporters will still benefit from preferential tariff rates when they export to CARIFORUM States.

  • Not only does the EPA fosters favourable market access for UK goods, it also includes provisions on modern trade policy issues such as trade in services, investment, government procurement, intellectual property and competition policy.

  • The CARIFORUM States have made commitments to harmonise their regulations, making the Caribbean region more attractive to UK businesses.

  •  The EPA establishes rules that facilitate the easier flow of investment between the UK and CARIFORUM States, providing greater predictability and transparency for UK investors.

  •  The EPA’s National Treatment principle means UK investors and service providers must be given the same access to market opportunities as local companies, unless exceptions have been agreed.

  • In the four quarters to the end of Q4 2020, the UK exported £1.6 billion to CARIFORUM. The top goods exported from the UK to CARIFORUM other than refined oil (£54.2m) were ships (£46.2m), beverages (£31.9m) and miscellaneous metal manufactures (£27.0m)*.

  • In 2019, total UK inward Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) stock from CARIFORUM States was approximately £23.1bn in comparison to the total stock of FDI from the UK in CARIFORUM of approximately £7.4bn*.

  • The UK reported a total trade surplus of £391m with CARIFORUM in the four quarters to the end of Q4 2020 compared to a trade surplus of £245m in the similar period of 2019.

  • The UK’s expertise in Engineering Technology, Education and Infrastructure is widely recognised in CARIFORUM states. There is also a growing demand in sectors such as Food and Drink, Clean Growth and Digitisation**.

*Source: UK Trade Info, 2020.

**Source: DIT Group Trade and Investment Factsheet: CARIFORUM - Updated 14/7/2021.  

Businesses looking for support in trading overseas may wish to use the services and tools available at GOV.UK for assisting importers and exporters:

Trade with the UK                                                             Check How to Export Goods


More information

It’s an exciting time to do business in CARIFORUM Member States. The CARIFORUM-UK EPA together with a wide range of business facilitating reforms makes the region a mecca of growing opportunities. For more information on how the EPA can facilitate your trade and investment, contact Regional Trade Policy Adviser, Dan Hart, or Trade Policy Manager, Caribbean, D’Jamila Ward.

If you would like more information on how this agreement may apply to your business and sector, contact us if you are:

Interested in CARIFORUM                                                             Interested in the UK


Published 30/09.

Last updated 13/10.

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