Jamaica trades under preferential arrangements as a result of the following agreements to which the country is a party or beneficiary:
1. The World Trade Organization (WTO) Most Favoured Nation (MFN)
Under the GATT/WTO, Jamaica’s exports can access the markets of the 160 Members of the WTO through Most Favoured Nation (MFN) Treatment. MFN addresses the tariff arrangements applied by all WTO Members. The MFN is to be found in the WTO General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).
2. UNCTAD Generalized System of Preferences (GSP)
Under the GSP, various developed countries (e.g. Japan, Norway, Switzerland), can allow goods from Jamaica to enter their market under enhanced preferential tariff arrangements i.e. better than MFN treatment once specific conditions established by the offering country are met. The GSP is a non-reciprocal (one-way access) arrangement and is reviewed periodically by the donor countries. Click here for more detail.
3. The Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI)
The CBI comprises the 1983/1990 Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA) and the 2000 Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBPTA). Both these pieces of US legislation allow Jamaica to export nearly all products to the USA duty-free. A few products are exempted from duty-free treatment.
4. The Commonwealth Caribbean/Canada Trade Agreement (CARIBCAN)
The 1986 Commonwealth Caribbean /Canada Trade Agreement (CARIBCAN) allows Jamaica to export its products to the Canadian Market duty-free. There are a few exempted products. This Agreement is governed by the Canadian legislation and is a non-reciprocal (one-way) arrangement.
5. CARICOM Single Market (CSM)
Under the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, which establishes a customs union and single market among CARICOM Member States, Jamaica has duty free access into the markets of 13 CARICOM Member States. The Bahamas and Montserrat are not participating in the CSM.
6. The CARICOM Bilateral Agreements
These are agreements negotiated between CARICOM and Venezuela; CARICOM and Colombia; CARICOM and the Dominican Republic; CARICOM and Costa Rica, and CARICOM and Cuba. Through these agreements, Jamaica has duty free access into the markets of Venezuela, Colombia, Dominican Republic; Costa Rica and Cuba for a wide range of goods.
7. PetroCaribe Trade Compensation Mechanism
This mechanism, negotiated as part of the etroCaribe Agreement, allows Jamaica to supply goods to Venezuela under specific terms and conditions.
8. The CARIFORUM/EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA)
This Agreement, concluded in 2008, allows Jamaica to export both goods and services to the 28 countries of the European Union (EU). All goods from Jamaica enter the EU duty-free and quota-free.