CARIFORUM-European Union Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA)
The Ministry is coordinating national efforts to implement the EPA, the first reciprocal trade agreement signed by The Bahamas. The EPA, signed by The Bahamas in October 2008, has not yet been ratified but has been provisionally applied since December 2008. The Agreement establishes a preferential trade arrangement in which CARIFORUM States (i.e. CARICOM States and the Dominican Republic) are engaged in reciprocal, albeit asymmetrical trade liberalization with the European Union.
The EPA aims to open up and enhance trade between Europe and CARIFORUM by providing market access to a wide range of products and services. This improves the way products and services are imported and exported to and from The Bahamas and facilitates ease of doing business.
The Trade & Industry Unit also serves at the EPA Implementation Unit at the national level.
Benefits for Bahamians under the EPA
The EPA benefits Bahamian businesses by:
Progressively reducing tariff duty rates on imports from the European Union (EU) over a 25 year period;
The EU reduces tariff duties on exports from CARIFORUM to zero over a 25 year period.
CARIFORUM and the EU provide greater market access to countries signed onto the EPA
What this means for your business
Under the EPA, your business may:
Access high quality European goods and services at lower prices while reducing costs.
Expand employment and business opportunities.
Develop exports in services and a wide range of goods to optimize your market presence and increase your profitability.
Leverage opportunities to invest in technology, process improvements and innovation.
Employ international best practices through application of quality and standards as a part of EPA requirements.