Domestic and Foreign Market Access

Overview: Trade Policy and Business Environment

The Republic of Haiti is classified as low-income economies. It is ranked 128th out of 132 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Enabling Trade Report (2012), which measures institutions, policies and services to facilitate the trade in countries. More than 80 per cent of the population is living in poverty. This situation was aggravated by the devastating earthquake in 2010, whereas the economy was struck, population declines sharply and political instability increases. Agriculture, forestry and fishing are the key sectors in the economy and serve as the principal source of employment for most population. Coffee, sugar and rice are traditionally important agricultural commodities, which however have been facing stiff competition from imported commodities. The manufacturing sectors have been growing, meanwhile the tourism sector offers much export possibilities. After all, the competitiveness and trade potential of Haiti has been consistently hampered by non-tariff barriers, inadequate infrastructure and weak administration.

Central Intelligence Agency, 2013, The World Fact Book (Haiti)

Domestic Market Access The pillar assesses the level and complexity of a country’s tariff protection as a result of its trade policy. This component includes the effective trade-weighted average tariff applied by a country, the share of goods imported duty free and the complexity of the tariff regime, measured through tariff variance, the prevalence of tariff peaks and specific tariffs, and the number of distinct tariffs. 103 4.12
Foreign Market Access The pillar assesses tariff barriers faced by a country’s exporters in destination markets. It includes the average tariffs faced by the country as well as the margin of preference in destination markets negotiated through bilateral or regional trade agreements or granted in the form of trade preferences. 22 3.72
Tariff rate (%) This indicator is calculated as a trade-weighted average of all the applied tariff rates, including preferential rates that a country applies to the rest of the world. The weights are the trade patterns of the importing country’s reference group (2012 data). An applied tariff is a customs duty that is levied on imports of merchandise goods. 71 5.80
Complexity of tariffs , index 1-7 (best) This indicator is calculated as the average of the following indicators: Tariff dispersion, Specific tariffs and Number of distinct tariffs. See description of each individual indicator for more details. Prior to averaging, values for each indicator were transformed to a 1–7 score, using the min-max method. 79 5.43
Tariffs dispersion (standard deviation) This indicator reflects differences in tariffs across product categories in a country’s tariff structure. The variance is calculated across all the tariffs on imported merchandise goods, at the 6-digit level of the Harmonized Schedule. 17 5.79
Tariffs peaks (%) This indicator is the ratio of the number of tariff lines exceeding three times the average domestic tariff (across all products) to the MFN (most-favoured nation) tariff schedule. The tariff schedule is equal to the total number of tariff lines for each country. These tariffs are revised on a yearly basis. 135 13.10
Specific tariffs (%) This indicator is the ratio of the number of Harmonized System (HS) tariff lines, with at least one specific tariff, to the total number of HS tariff lines. A specific tariff is a tariff rate charged on fixed amount per quantity (as opposed to ad valorem) 1 0.00
Number of distinct tariffs This indicator reflects the number of distinct tariff rates applied by a country to its imports across all sectors. 38 11.00
Share of duty-free imports (%) Share of trade, excluding petroleum, that is imported free of tariff duties, taking into account MFN tariffs and preferential agreements. Tariff data is from 2013 or most recent year available and imports data is from 2012 113 20.76
Tariffs faced (%) This indicator is calculated as the trade-weighted average of the applied tariff rates, including preferential rates that the rest of the world applies to each country. The weights are the trade patterns of the importing country’s reference group (2012 data). A tariff is a customs duty that is levied by the destination country on imports of merchandise goods 105 5.55
Index of margin of preference in destination markets, 0-100 (best) This indicator measures the percentage by which particular imports from one country are subject to lower tariffs than the MFN rate. It is calculated as the average of two components: 1) the trade-weighted average difference between the MFN tariff and the most advantageous preferential duty (advantage score), and 2) the ratio of the advantage score to the trade-weighted average MFN tariff level. This allows capturing both the absolute and the relative margin of preference. 3 72.65
Source : World Economic Forum, Global Enabling Trade Report 2014

Trade Policy and Market Access

In 2012, Haiti’s simple average MFN applied is 2.8 per cent, whereas it is more protective of its agricultural goods (with an MFN applied tariff of 6.0 per cent) than non-agricultural ones (2.3 per cent) (WTO 2013). Its simple average tariff is one of the lowest in the region of Latin America and Caribbean and the low income group. However, non-tariff barriers are still significant, yet trade liberalization has had considerable negative impact on the economy, as local products cannot compete with cheap imports under such a low tariff level. Haiti has been a WTO member since the year of 1996. At the regional level, Haiti became the member of the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) in 2002, and it applies the group’s Common External Tariff (CET). Bilaterally speaking, Haiti has been a receiver of 10-year preferential access to U.S. markets through special tariff exemptions under the Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement (HOPE II).Being part of the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM), Haiti is also the beneficiary of the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), which offers preferential access to the EU market.

WTO, 2012, Tariff Profile (Haiti)

Standard Compliance and Other Relevant Import/Export Restrictions

Regarding its Sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures, Haiti is adopting the international standard of CODEX Alimentarius. Its national enquiry point to WTO is the Ministry of Agricultural, Natural Resource and Rural Development (MARNDR). And its national enquiry point for technical barrier to trade (TBT) measures is the Ministry of Trade and Industry. There exist obligatory technical regulations for coffee, under the control of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and for sanitary requirements, under the control of the Code d'hygiene (1954). The technical regulations are similar to international standards (for coffee) and to regional standards (for sanitary requirements). So far, Haiti has not issued any SPS nor TBT notification to the WTO.

WTO, accessed in 2014, TBT Information Management System