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Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Second Meeting of EPA Joint Council held in Brussels

The Second Meeting of the Joint CARIFORUM-EU Council under the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) was held at the Headquarters of the Council of the European Union in Brussels, Belgium on 26 October 2012. The Meeting delved into challenges that have arisen in the implementation of the EPA and provided political guidance, with a view to ensuring that EPA implementation remains on track. Thirteen of the fifteen signatory CARIFORUM States were in attendance, with eight Delegations led by Ministers.
The Meeting focused attention on a number of matters of particular concern to CARIFORUM States which have been discussed between the two sides over the past year. Two of these matters pertain to provisions in the Agreement that CARIFORUM considers do not reflect its understanding of the position previously adopted by the two sides. The first matter concerns the arrangements applicable to CARIFORUM States regarding the reduction of tariffs on motor vehicles and parts, while the other concerns the rate of duty on certain paper and paper board products applied by Trinidad and Tobago. In both cases, the two sides were unable to arrive at an agreement for adjusting the provisions of the EPA and the Joint Council concluded that these issues would remain on the Agenda for further consideration.