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Haiti Membership in Free Trade Agreements

Import regulations, commercial guide of and business travel to the countries in Central America and South America.

Haiti Membership in Free Trade Agreements

Postby bridgat » Tue Nov 18, 2008 5:48 am

Haiti is a member of the WTO and the CARICOM. Haiti is bound by the CARICOM "Rules or Origin" and "Content Requirements" put forth in the treaty. Haiti negotiated a ten-year period as a Less Developed Country in order to be fully integrated into CARICOM.

CARICOM "Rules of Origin" and "Content Requirements"

In order for a firm to be eligible for one of the concession regimes in the Customs Code, at least 35% of raw materials, intermediate products, supplies and other components used to produce and present the products must be of Haitian origin. Firms producing goods that have not yet been produced in Haiti or goods that replace previously imported products are eligible for the concession regimes in the Customs Code provided that the national component in the overall production cost amounts to at least 60%. Other firms that may benefit form these concession regimes are those manufacturing a product made by treating or processing raw materials of national origin that have not yet been used for industrial purposes.

In addition, Haiti benefits from two preferential trade programs as outlined below.

Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI)

Approximately 3,500 Haitian export products are eligible for duty-free entry into the U.S. under the CBI. However, most textiles are excluded, with the exception of those made from linen or silk, or qualifying as craft work. Also excluded are certain watches and watch parts, petroleum and its by-products, prepared or canned tuna, sugar, molasses, syrup, beef, spirits, and footwear.

Products must be shipped directly from Haiti to the U.S. to qualify for CBI entry. The products may incorporate imported components as long as the goods exported to the U.S. are a new merchandise product distinct from such components, and the Haitian direct costs of production (including domestic raw materials and those originating in other CBI beneficiary countries, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands) must amount to at least 35% of the customs value. Materials of U.S. origin may be included up to a maximum of 15% of the customs value.

Eligible articles assembled or processed from U.S. materials, components or ingredients are accorded duty free access into the U.S. regardless of whether such articles satisfy the 35% value added criterion.

Haiti has been designated as a beneficiary of the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA) which provides greater duty free access to US markets. The CBTPA also extends NAFTA-equivalent tariff treatment to a number of products excluded from the CBI program.

The Lome Convention Trade Advantages

On December 15, 1989, Haiti signed the fourth Agreement on Common Preferences (ACP)/EEC Lomé Convention under which products originating from Haiti and more than 68 ACP countries are exempt from import duties or equivalent taxes upon entry to the EEC. Certain agricultural products, such as rum, bananas and sugar are subject to import quotas. Other products must comply with specific import regulations. Primary export products benefit from a price insurance fund called Stabex, part of a system created to compensate for losses due to world price fluctuations.

The exporter must obtain a proof of origin called a certificate of circulation of goods (Form Eur.1). The certificate is issued by the customs officials of the exporting country. It must then be sent to the customs authorities of the importing country within 10 months of delivery date.
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