OECS Commission Revitalizes Efforts to Establish Customs Union


Discussions are ongoing to establish a Customs Union among member states of the sub-regional grouping. Representatives from the private and public sectors held a two-day consultation with OECS Commission officials in Antigua and Barbuda, with further consultations planned in other member states.

Leading the discussions is Richardo James, Head of the Trade Policy Development Unit at the OECS Commission in St. Lucia. James emphasized the necessity of operationalizing the OECS Customs Union to ensure the free circulation of goods and achieve the OECS Economic Union goals.

James acknowledged that despite significant progress since 2011, various challenges, including the 2017 hurricane and COVID-19, slowed the momentum between 2016 and 2020. The OECS Commission aims to revitalize efforts through these consultations in the seven Protocol Member states, starting in St. John’s.

The consultations will also update the roadmap and set new timelines for the Customs Union’s implementation. This process involves harmonizing customs legislation and obtaining approvals from trade ministers and the OECS Authority.

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