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Accession to the World Trade Organization

The Bahamas is currently seeking membership in the WTO, having made an application to join the organization in 2001. The Trade and Industry Unit of the Ministry has primary responsibility for coordinating and leading national efforts toward WTO membership. 

To assist in the accession process, in September 2015, The Bahamas opened a Mission in Geneva which is accredited to the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva.  In November 2017, the Government of the Bahamas announced that it would accelerate accession efforts, with a goal to accede to the WTO by December 2019.]

Given that The Bahamas is a party to the EPA, many of the legislative and policy changes necessary for WTO accession are already required for EPA implementation

In November 2017, the Government established a WTO Negotiating Team and appointed Mr. Raymond Winder as the Chief Negotiator and Mrs. Viana Gardiner as the Alternate Chief Negotiator.

Additional WTO information:


 The Ministry of Financial Services, Trade & Industry and Immigration will facilitate the first round of consultations to obtain private sector input as a part of its efforts to join the World Trade Organization (WTO). The consultations will be industry specific and are intended to inform the Government’s negotiating position in respect of each economic sector. To that end, the input of business community in this consultative process would be welcomed.

The consultations will be held from the period 16th April, 2018 – 3rd May, 2018 at the Ministry of Finance, Cecil Wallace Whitfield Centre, Cable Beach, 3rd Floor Conference Room.

Please consult the consultation schedule below to determine the date and time that consultations will be held for your particular industry and confirm your attendance by contacting the Ministry by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at (242) 328-5071-6.

If you have any questions regarding which sector your business falls into, please contact the Ministry for more information.

 If you are unable to attend the in-person consultations and would wish your input to be taken into consideration, please complete the appropriate Questionnaire based on the services sectors indicated in the table below and return the completed Questionnaire by email to the Trade & Industry Unit at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.:



Applicable Questionnaire

Manufacturing, Mining, Agriculture, and Fisheries

Goods Questionnaire

Retail and Wholesale

Services Questionnaire, but if you wish to provide input on tariff rates, you are also encouraged to complete the Goods Questionnaire

All other sectors

Services Questionnaire

If you are located in the Family Islands and would wish to participate via videoconference, please contact the Ministry using the contact details provided above.

If your business is a member of an association, please also liaise with your association representative to coordinate the position, concerns or questions of your particular industry. A list of applicable associations is included in the consultation schedule below. However, if your association is not listed, please contact the Trade & Industry Unit so that it may be included in any future listing.

Consultation Schedule