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St Kitts and Nevis seeking an extension on EPA deadlines

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Monday, 08 October 2012

St Kitts and Nevis seeking an extension on EPA deadlines

The St. Kitts-Nevis government remains concerned that it could come out worse off if it starts to implement duty free access for European goods coming into the federation and is seeking an extension in implementing certain measures under the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) , signed along with other Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) countries with Europe in 2008. This was revealed by Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas during a recent interview on Winn FM radio, where he announced that the twin-island federation would be approaching the European Union (EU) on the issue.
The CARIFORUM countries (the Caribbean Community plus the Dominica Republic) made a reciprocal agreement under the EPA for the removal of tariffs and import duties on goods traded between European and CARIFORUM countries. However, St Kitts and Nevis is among the eight Caribbean countries that have not yet removed tariffs from goods coming into the country from the EU.
With the exception of the Caribbean, six other regional blocs in the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group have yet to conclude full regional EPAs since discussions began in 2002 and the EU recently agreed to extend the deadline for concluding EPAs with the rest of the bloc to January 1, 2016. Issues of concern that have delayed the process include the time frame in which ACP markets must be opened up to free trade with Europe, the extent of goods and services to be liberalised, rules and requirements for goods to enter Europe, export taxes, and numerous other key clauses in the agreements.

Source: Bilaterals.org