Trade Facilitation

Description

According to OECD’s indicator on Trade Facilitation Performance, Trinidad and Tobago has mostly displayed better performance than the average of Latin America and the Caribbean countries, as well as high income level countries. It performed best in the areas of appeal procedures, simplification and harmonisation of documents, and streamlining of procedures, while it needs to further improve upon automation. Therefore, Trinidad and Tobago launched the several reforms to improve trade facilitation. For example, it merged the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) (an integrated customs management system with electronic data interchange) with a single electronic window, which allowed the input of ASYCUDA to be shared across several agencies. Moreover, the government simplified the process for obtaining a certificate of origin. As a result, it reduced the time to export and import. According to the World Bank Doing Business Report (2014), it takes 11 and 14 days respectively to export and import a standard container of goods, which are less than the regional average of 17 and 19 days. The cost to export and import has already amounted to USD 843 and USD 1,260 which are less than the regional average of USD 1,283 and USD 1,676. In order to promote trade, the government has defined five specific geographic areas (Growth Poles) throughout the country, granting them Free Trade Zone status as well as special fiscal incentives.