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EU - Market Access

3.1 Market Access

It  is  important  to  understand  how  to  access your targeted European market as well as any potential barriers that may exist. The mechanisms an exporter uses to sell speciality food in the Caribbean may be completely inappropriate  to  the  target  market.  Research will be essential to understanding the target market and it is strongly advised that novice exporters consult with the appropriate national, regional and international sources to properly navigate the export process.
Reference: Agri-Food Trade Service, Agri-Food Regional Profile, European Union 27, July 2010 Preferential duty regime for African, Caribbean and Pacific states (ACP)

Between Europe and the Caribbean, a preferential  duty  free  regime  exists  for Caribbean goods exported to Europe. As part of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of  states,  trade  relations  between  the Caribbean, other ACP countries and the EU are governed  by  the  ACP-EU  Partnership Agreement, concluded in Cotonou on 23 June
2000 for a period of 20 years. In this agreement, the ACP States and the EU decided to replace the existing trade provisions with new trading agreements, known as Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), progressively removing barriers to trade and enhancing co-operation in all areas related to trade.

As a result, today, the ACP States are covered by one of three preferential duty regimes:

  • Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA): for those ACP countries, which have concluded the relevant negotiations for a comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement. The Forum of Caribbean States (CARIFORUM) region is the only ACP region to have concluded such an Agreement at the time of writing.
  • Interim Economic Partnership Agreements ("EPA Market Access Regulation"): for those ACP countries, which have concluded the relevant negotiations for an interim Economic Partnership Agreement.
  • Relevant arrangement under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP): for those ACP countries, which have not concluded the relevant negotiations for a comprehensive or interim Economic Partnership Agreement.

At the end of 2007, a first comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) was initialled with CARIFORUM. The Agreement was signed in October 2008 and is provisionally applied as from 29 December 2008. This trade and development agreement covers trade in goods,  services  and  investment  as  well  as  a wide range of other trade-related areas. Sustainable development and regional integration are major themes running through the agreement, which includes development cooperation provisions and links into the EU Aid for Trade Strategy. It is also important to note that the CARIFORUM-European Community (EC) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) maintains the duty free access provisions into the EU market for all CARIFORUM goods. Under the EPA, quotas which previously existed in the EU market for some CARIFORUM goods were also removed immediately with the exception rice and sugar which were slated to be quota free as of 1 January, 2010 and 1 October, 2015 respectively.

CARIFORUM signatory countries to the EPA are Antigua & Barbuda,   Bahamas,    Barbados, Belize,      Dominica,      Dominican  Republic, Grenada,  Guyana,  Jamaica,   Saint Lucia,  Saint Vincent & the Grenadines,  Saint Christopher & Nevis,  Suriname, and Trinidad & Tobago.

For their part, CARIFORUM States will reduce tariffs on imported EU goods, but not to the same extent or at the same pace as Europe. The EPA Rules of Origin (RoO) are based on the structures and principles of those contained in

Tariff Heading

Product Description

Applicable Rule

Tariff Rate


Bread, pastry, cakes, biscuits and other bakers'

wares, whether or not containing cocoa; communion wafers, empty cachets of a kind suitable for pharmaceutical use, sealing wafers, rice paper and similar products

Wheat  or  meslin  flour,  malt,  starches,  inulin  and

wheat gluten must come from a CARIFORUM state.

2.3%   +   €13

per 100 kg


Sauces and preparations therefore; mixed

condiments and mixed seasonings; mustard

flour and meal and prepared mustard:




-Sauces and preparations therefore;

mixed condiments and mixed seasonings

All materials used must be classified in a tariff

heading other than 2103. However, mustard flour and meal and prepared mustard



-mustard flour and meal and prepared

Final product can be manufactured from products of