CARICOM Extends Assistance to Guyanese Stakeholders to Implement EPA

CARICOM Secretariat, Guyana – The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) Implementation Unit of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat is set to collaborate with the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) for a second time, this year, in the delivery of a training seminar. Scheduled to begin on 25 January in Georgetown, Guyana, the two-day undertaking is directed at customs brokers in Guyana.

With a focus on the trade in goods regime and the Rules of Origin under the EPA, the seminar comes on the heels of a similar one convened on the 19 and 20 of January, organized by the GRA for thirty officers of the Customs and Trade Administration.

As with the seminar last week, the designated facilitator for the upcoming seminar is Adviser to the Secretary-General on the Implementation of the EPA and Head of the EPA Implementation Unit/Trade in Goods Specialist, Mr Branford Isaacs.

The Senior Manager, Training, Development and Industrial Relations at the GRA, Ms Janet Abbensetts, described the seminar last week as “well received”. She said the participants were “very engaged, and given the GRA’s role with respect to the smooth implementation of the Agreement, participants were particularly keen to take stock of the provisions dealing with tariff reductions and the Rules of Origin which will govern trade under the EPA”.

Ms Abbensetts said of the upcoming event for customs brokers, “we have every expectation that the customs brokers will also be enthusiastic to get a better understanding of the Agreement. As they have to work in partnership with the GRA, they are required to have a sound understanding of the customs-related areas of the Agreement”.

Mr Isaac’s involvement as a facilitator in both GRA-organized training seminars came at the request of Guyanese authorities, in keeping with the EPA Implementation Unit’s expressed commitment to provide assistance to CARIFORUM States in their efforts at implementation of the CARIFORUM-EU EPA.

It is anticipated that additional EPA-related training seminars, which Mr Isaacs will be invited to facilitate, will be organized by the GRA. Importers and exporters are among the stakeholders that have been identified for these engagements.

The fifteen signatory Caribbean Forum of African, Caribbean and Pacific (CARIFORUM) States to the EPA are the independent CARICOM Member States and the Dominican Republic.

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