The CARIFORUM EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) was signed in 2008 building on long-standing economic relationships between the Caribbean region and the European Union. With the goal to offer new market opportunities for CARIFORUM States and to foster regional trade, great expectations are put on the EPA. Besides the various positive results achieved until now, there is still work to be done to enable Caribbean countries to fully benefit from the EPA.
Existing Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) impede intra-regional trade and preclude the region from fully entering international markets. Many exporters from the Caribbean have limited access to internationally-recognised Quality Infrastructure services within the region resulting in high costs for sourcing these services outside the region.
The project will provide benefits in three major areas:
Beneficiary Countries: Caribbean Forum of ACP States (CARIFORUM): Antigua & Barbuda – The Bahamas – Belize – Dominica – Dominican Republic – Grenada – Guyana – Haiti – Jamaica – Montserrat – Saint Lucia – Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – Saint Kitts and Nevis – Suriname – Trinidad and Tobago
The project is implemented by the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) together with partners, the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) and the Instituto Dominicano para la Calidad (INDOCAL).
PTB, the National Metrology Institute of Germany, is a scientific and technical higher federal authority falling within the competence of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.
CROSQ is headquartered in Barbados and is the regional centre for promoting efficiency and competitive production in goods and services, through the process of standardization and verification of quality, aiming to support international competitiveness for the enhancement of social and economic development in the region.
INDOCAL is the National Standards Body of the Dominican Republic, providing services of standardization, metrology, certification and training in accordance with international practices.
Standardization is the process of formulating, issuing and implementing standards with respect to actual or potential problems, provisions for common and repeated use, aimed at the achievement of the optimum degree of order in a given context.
This component of the 11th EDF-TBT Programme wil involve:
Metrology is the science of measurement and is divided into three fields:
In this component, several activities will take place, including:
Accreditation is a procedure by which an authoritative body provides formal recognition that a body or person is competent to carry out specific tasks.
Under the Accreditation component, the following activities will occur:
In its simplest form, conformity assessment is determining (directly or indirectly) if a process, product, materials, services, systems or people meet the specifications of a relevant standard, such as a CARICOM Regional Standards. It involves the processes of certification, inspection and testing.
Conformity assessment activities will include:
Quality Promotions, also referred to as Awareness and Information, is one of the newest developing areas of QI for the region. It involves marketing, education, information sharing; stakeholder engagement, knowledge management, promotions and public relations, and development of enabling technological frameworks that enable countries to cooperate effectively.
This component will involve: