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Quality - from the Caribbean to the World

Calidad - del Caribe para el mundo | Qualité - du Caraïbe pour le monde
Kwaliteit - van het Caraibisch gebied naar de Wereld

10th EDF EPA - Technical Barriers to Trade Project Description

PIU Meeting, November 2012

Baobab Towers, CROSQ Secretariat

The CARIFORUM States (the 15 Member States of CARICOM plus the Dominican Republic) signed an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union in 2008. Since then, CARIFORUM has been actively engaged in the planning and implementation of programmes to create the economic and social capacities needed to effect the region’s viable engagement with the EU under the Agreement.

The European Union through its European Development Fund (EDF) has signed a 165 million EUR Financing Agreement with CARIFORUM, for the programming period 2008-2013. Those resources will be expended in the implementation of the 10th EDF Caribbean Regional Indicative Programme (10th EDF-CRIP). The EPA Implementation Programme is one of the components of the 10th EDF-CRIP, under the theme Support to the Caribbean Forum of the ACP States in the Implementation of the Commitments undertaken under the Economic Partnership Agreement. The Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) project is a sub-component of the EPA Programme that seeks to respond to the Region’s commitments under the TBT Chapter of the EPA (Project Brochure).

Within the current context of trade globalization, multilateral trade agreements have made reference to the necessity of Quality Infrastructure (QI), as entry into international markets requires compliance to international standards and evidence of such compliance through an internationally recognized system of conformity assessment. Quality Infrastructure is therefore essential for removing Technical Barriers to Trade and holds the key to greater integration of countries into the international trade system.

It is against this background that the 10th EDF EPA-TBT Project aims to modernise national and regional QI in concert with the imperatives and internationally recognised principles of international trade, as defined in the WTO Agreement and the EPA. The Project will address the inadequacy of QI to facilitate and ensure compliance with the technical regulations, standards, and conformity assessment procedures of the region’s international trading partners.


The three (3) main goals of the TBT Project are:

  1. to facilitate intra and inter-regional trade,
  2. to promote international competitiveness and sustainable production of goods and services within the CARIFORUM States and
  3. to increase the use of services of internationally recognised Regional Quality Infrastructure Institutions in the region.

 

The expected outcomes of the project include the operationalisation of regional frameworks in the areas of standardization, metrology and accreditation and preparation of Quality Infrastructure Institutions for international recognition. Other projected outcomes of the project are the strengthening of the user orientation of Quality Infrastructure and awareness building activities among stakeholders and also better communication and cooperation between the region's National Standard Bodies (NSBs) and the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) Secretariat including the development of a coordinated knowledge management system. Through this project actions will also be taken to strengthen the working relationship and to foster greater collaboration in Quality Infrastructure between CARICOM and the Dominican Republic.

The project is being executed between July 2012 and March 2017, it has a budget of 7.8 million EUR and is being implemented by the German Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) together with its implementing partners, the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) and the Dominican Republic's Instituto Dominicano para la Calidad (INDOCAL). The supervision of the TBT Component is led by the Delegation of the European Union to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean.

The management structure of the project is as follows:

For further information, please contact the Project Implementation Unit at: tbt.piu(at)crosq.org