Caribbean News Now!

About Us Contact Us


Jump to your country or territory of interest

Advertise with us

Reach our daily visitors from around the Caribbean and throughout the world. Click here for rates and placements.


Submit news and opinion for publication


Click here to receive our daily regional news headlines by email.


Click here to browse our extensive archives going back to 2004

Also, for the convenience of our readers and the online community generally, we have reproduced the complete Caribbean Net News archives from 2004 to 2010 here.

Climate Change Watch

The Caribbean is especially vulnerable to rising sea levels brought about by global warming. Read the latest news and information here...

Follow Caribbean News Now on Twitter
Connect with Caribbean News Now on Linkedin

News from the Caribbean:

Back To Today's News

OECS ports prepare for free circulation of goods
Published on February 27, 2017 Email To Friend    Print Version

OECS trade policy officials at the meeting

CASTRIES, St Lucia -- The second meeting of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) port management committee was convened online via web-conference on Friday, February 17, 2017. The meeting was largely focused on engaging OECS port authorities on the policies and procedures for facilitating the entry of goods into the OECS customs union as well as the free circulation of goods in the OECS economic union area.

A key objective of this exercise is to ensure that port managers are apprised of their new role and function in the process of creating a customs union within the OECS.

The Trade Policy Unit of the OECS Commission made presentations to the port authorities on the guiding principles and draft procedural arrangements for the OECS customs union and free circulation of goods regime, with specific emphasis on the need for the ports to enhance ICT connectivity with the customs department and shipping agents. Port and customs officials across member states are expected to play an active role in the logistical arrangements for differentiating goods subject to regular import procedures from goods in free circulation.

The port authorities also highlighted the need to revise existing port charges across member states and develop an OECS port tariff/pricing structure that is more up-to-date and commensurate with the services and operations currently being provided. A regional pricing structure is viewed as a strategic approach to help influence a reduction in the high freight charges currently being levied by international shipping lines that service OECS ports.

It is envisioned that this new tariff/pricing structure would greatly support the efficiency and expansion of the OECS agro shipping initiative, which is geared towards moving agricultural produce throughout the OECS and the wider Caribbean Community (CARICOM), using OECS registered vessels. Coordinator of the agro shipping initiative, Sunita Daniel, made a presentation to the meeting on the progress of this initiative to date.

Another critical issue discussed at this meeting was the need to build the capacity of port personnel across the OECS to better provide services to importers and exporters in the economic union. The OECS Commission informed the meeting of plans for a second round of training for port managers and operators in 2017, under the OECS-Singapore joint training programme sponsored by the Singapore cooperation programme.

Port Managers indicated a number of priority areas in which they require support for capacity building in order to service the region more efficiently. These areas include occupational health and safety, ICT integration, environmental efficiency, and port marketing.

The port management committee (PMC), which was established in March 2016, is a subcommittee of the regional task force on free circulation of goods. Its mandate is to address matters relating to the operations and management of air and sea ports in the OECS in facilitating free circulation of goods within the economic union. Membership comprises senior management from both the air and seaport authorities across the OECS, as well as associate members from the Port Management Association of the Caribbean (PMAC), and the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI).
Reads: 7997

Click here to receive daily news headlines from Caribbean News Now!



Raoul Thomas:

I think it's a great idea to have a uniform tariff throughout the OECS member states and I would like to see that implemented as soon as possible


As a result of our comments feature being overtaken in recent weeks by spammers using fake email addresses, producing a large number of bounced verification emails each day, we have reluctantly decided to suspend the comments section until further notice.

User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment author and are not representative of Caribbean News Now or its staff. Caribbean News Now accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Caribbean News Now reserves the right to remove, edit or censor any comments. Any content that is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will not be approved.
Before posting, please refer to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Other Headlines:

Regional Sports: