Shipping industry gets CSME update
Members of the shipping industry were last week educated on their rights as Jamaican nationals under the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME). Information was provided by the CARICOM Secretariat and delivered by Gillian Scott of Right Angle Imaging Incorporation and a multi-agency team of specialists during a Lunch and Learn Seminar hosted by the Shipping Association of Jamaica on January 27.
The CSME allows nationals of the participating countries to travel hassle free, seek employment, trade goods, provide services and set up businesses without barriers under five negotiated regimes. The CSME participating countries are: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Lucia, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Haiti (with conditions).
Under the travel regime, nationals are allowed definite entry for up to six months. Skilled Caribbean Community (CARICOM) nationals have the right to seek work or to engage in gainful employment in participating CARICOM states without the need for a work permit. Skilled workers should, however, meet certain requirements such as degrees from recognised universities or a CARICOM Skills Certificate.
Participants were reminded that free movement of skills is not a right to permanent residency or citizenship. Individuals must apply for residency or citizenship according to the laws of the host country.
The service regime allows CARICOM nationals to supply services to another CARICOM country for short periods of time. To do so however, companies should register as a service provider.
CARICOM nationals can supply services in four ways:
1. From the territory of one member state into the territory of another member state;
2. In the territory of one member state to the consumer of another member state, who desires the service;
3. By service supplier of one member state through the commercial presence in the territory of another member state;
4. By a service supplier of one member state through the presence of natural persons of a member state in the territory of another member state
The third regime addresses the establishment of a company by nationals in participating countries. Persons who wish to set up a company in a CARICOM country must abide by the rules and regulations for establishing businesses in the host country and should do so within six months.
The fourth regime speaks to the export of goods to CARICOM countries. Exporters stand to benefit from this regime as goods certified to be of CARICOM origin and exported to CARICOM countries do not attract common external tariff or any such import duties. Additionally, no export duties are to be charged on goods certified to be of CARICOM origin which are being exported to other CARICOM countries.
Importers will however need to prove that products were in fact made in a CARICOM country of origin. Incoming goods must be certified (as originating from that country or other CARICOM countries) by the certifying agency in the country of origin of the goods.
The CSME team is currently working on the fifth regime which will address capital. This regime should come on stream in 2016.
CARICOM nationals who believe that their rights under the CSME have been violated should make a formal complaint with the National Commission in their respective countries. Jamaica’s National Commission is located at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The CSME workplace sessions are facilitated under a 'Consultancy to improve Information Flows within the CSME'. The project now underway in Jamaica, Belize, Guyana, Dominica, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Grenada aims to increase the number and types of information channels promoting the CARICOM Single Market to CARICOM.
The Shipping Association of Jamaica coordinates lunch and learn seminars to provide information on current issues in business and shipping to industry stakeholders.