CARICOM Single Market
Belize has enjoyed a trade surplus with the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) region which is comprised of 15 member states with an estimated population of 18 million people.
In 2019, within the CARICOM region, Belize’s top five export partners were :
- Jamaica (BZ$30.8 M)
- Trinidad and Tobago (BZ$19.7 M)
- Barbados (BZ$19.6 M)
- Bahamas (BZ$6 M)
- Saint Lucia (BZ$3.4 M)
- Guyana (BZ$2.7 M)
Other products exported include grapefruit juice, crude soya bean oil, toilet paper, pineapple juice, mora wood, rock lobster, and other beans.
In 2019, within the CARICOM region, Belize’s top five import partners were :
- Trinidad and Tobago (BZ$28.7 M)
- Jamaica (BZ$9.8 M)
- Saint Lucia (BZ$2.9 M)
- Guyana (BZ$2.4 M)
- Barbados (BZ$1.9 M)
Other products imported include plastic-insulated copper conductors, water-thinned paints, canned chicken sausages, sweet biscuits, and other undenatured ethyl alcohol.
COMMON EXTERNAL TARIFF (CET) OPPORTUNITIES
Belize, as a member of CARICOM, can import most of its goods from other CARICOM Member States duty free. However, CARICOM applies a Common External Tariff (CET). The CET is a schedule of tariff rates that is applied uniformly by CARICOM Member States to imports from countries outside the common market. The CET rate ranges from 0-40%. The CET could be suspended upon application and approval by CARICOM Member States if the product cannot be supplied by the Community. This means that the CET will no longer be applied and a CARICOM Member State can import a good at a cheaper tax rate from a non-CARICOM Member State.
The private sector in Member States, through their Ministries of Trade, make requests to the CARICOM Secretariat for the derogation of the CET on specific goods they wish to acquire outside the CARICOM region. The CARICOM Secretariat then forwards the formal request to the Ministries of Trade in Member States requesting the following: 1. To consult with local businesses that produce the specific good to determine if they are able to supply in the quantities and quality requested; 2. If supply is available, to provide the Secretariat with the contact information of the supplier; and 3. If supplies are not currently available, to indicate if and when supplies would be. Member States are required to respond with an acceptance or objection within seven (7) days.
The CET Suspension Mechanism is a way Member States can identify opportunities for products that are in demand in the region and not supplied by CARICOM Member States. The following list of goods, demanded by the countries listed, are those that CARICOM Member States could not supply or meet the quantities and quality requested in 2019.
INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN CARICOM
For world prices of commodities visit https://tradingeconomics.com/commodities . The prices are based on annual volumes, the amount of storage required, packaging or payment terms. For markets like the USA, market prices are based on the quality of the product, packaging and daily stock market trading prices.
CARIBBEAN EXPORTER GATEWAY (CARIBGATE)
Do you want to export to a CSME Member State, Cuba, Costa Rica or the Dominican Republic? Visit the CARIBGATE at www.caribgate.caricom.org to easily access product specific requirement requested by these countries, including: tariffs & other charges (local taxes), licensing & permit requirements, and estimated import charges based on the export value.
The gain access to the system, follow these steps:
1.Click on “Register” and enter the requested information.
2. Once complete, click on “Register”, once more.
3. Enter your password and click on “Log in.”
Future “log-ins” will only require entry of your user ID and password.
The system is designed to allow easy access to exporters and other users (such as policy makers and students) who may be in search of information.
*Charts developed from data obtained from the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB)