We Mix Business with Pleasure.

ST. GEORGE’S, GRENADA Monday, May 06, 2013: “Interactive and informative”- were the words echoed by many of the participants of the recently held EPA workshop, which took place on April 24, 2013. This was a joint undertaking by the Grenada National EPA Implementation Unit (NEPAIU) and the Customs & Excise Division.

This trade in goods specific workshop provided custom brokers and other individuals engaged in the administrative processes governing the movement of goods, with a heightened appreciation of the appropriate rules and protocols of the CARIFORUM-EU EPA. Moreover, it provided the context through which trade in goods is facilitated under the EPA. Attracting leading and long standing custom brokers, this informational platform allowed participants to depart with a greater awareness of this multi-dimensional trade agreement

Delivering the Feature Address, Honourable Oliver Joseph, Minister with responsibility for Economic Development, Trade, Planning and Cooperatives, urged participants to remain abreast of local, regional and international developments which can influence their professions and the way they do business. Minister Joseph applauded the participants for showing interest in such an important aspect of the EPA and further encouraged them to call upon the services of the EPA Implementation Unit, the Customs and Excise Division and his Ministry, in obtaining a greater understanding of the EPA and other international trade agreements. Noting that knowledge is critical in the current world in which we operate, Minister Joseph reminded attendees that information is the key that unlocks many doors. He delivered a charge to participants to continue seeking knowledge, not just on matters pertaining to the EPA, but in areas that affect their businesses and way of life; through their development they are better positioned to advise their clients and can progress the development of their businesses.

Minister Joseph expressed the commitment of the Government of Grenada to the EPA implementation process and further noted the critical role that trade agreements, like the EPA can play in advancing the development of economies like Grenada and other CARIFORUM Member Countries.

The Workshop covered a wide range of topics including an Overview of the CARIFORUM-EU EPA, Tariff Liberalization, Rules of Origin, Protocol I, Completion of the EUR 1 Form. Presenters included Mr. Desmond John, National EPA Implementation Coordinator, Grenada National EPA Implementation Unit (NEPAIU); Mr. Solomon Granger, Deputy Comptroller and Officer with responsibility for EPA, Customs & Excise Division, Ministry of Finance; Mrs. Lyndonna Hillaire-Marshall, Deputy Comptroller, Customs & Excise Division, Ministry of Finance and Mr. Ernie James, Trade Officer, Ministry of Economic Development, Trade, Planning & Cooperatives. Mrs. Dawn Walker, Technical Support Officer, Grenada National EPA Implementation Unit (NEPAIU), delivered the closing remarks, while Ms. Nicole Garraway, Senior EPA Implementation Officer, Grenada National EPA Implementation Unit (NEPAIU), served as the chairperson of the event.

Many misperceptions were dispelled, facts cemented and queries clarified; participants were enlightened on various aspects of the provisions relating to Trade in Goods and expressed their interest in further EPA-related workshops. Indeed this synergy between the local Grenada National EPA Implementation Unit (NEPAIU) and the Customs & Excise Division yielded great success in enhancing the knowledge of critical players engaging in trade in goods.

Often abbreviated to the acronym “EPA”, the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) is a trade and development agreement between 15 CARIFORUM States and 27 European Union (EU) Member States, with the CARIFORUM comprising all independent CARICOM Member States and the Dominican Republic.

Signed in October 2008 and provisionally applied in December of that year, the CARIFORUM- EU EPA heralded a new dawn in the international trade arena. This new trade agreement, characterized by visionary thought, innovation and modernity, advances regional cooperation among CARIFORUM States, endorses market liberalization and charts a path towards sustainable growth and development for CARIFORUM Member Countries, including Grenada.

In keeping with the objective of greater liberalization, the CARIFORUM-EU EPA contains various provisions governing both trade in goods and services. With the present focus on trade in goods, the Grenada National EPA Implementation Unit (NEPAIU) partnered with the Customs & Excise Division to host a Workshop on theAdministrative Procedures governing the Movement of Goods under the CARIFORUM-EU EPA.

This workshop-styled forum represented one in a series of workshops which the Grenada National EPA Implementation Unit (NEPAIU) has undertaken with various EPA implementing agencies.

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