Free Trade Agreement between the
Caribbean Community and the Government of the Dominican Republic
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM), of the one part, and
the Dominican Republic, of the other part, (which hereinafter shall be
referred to as "the Parties");
CONSIDERING growing process of economic globalisation
and the intensification of the regional and sub-regional economic integration
processes in which the Parties are deeply involved, and with the purpose of
achieving more adequate integration in these processes and a more significant
joint presence at their fora of negotiation;
CONSIDERING the urgent need to broaden the markets of
the Parties in order to achieve the economies of scale that will support better
levels of efficiency, productivity and competitiveness;
CONSIDERING that the symmetry and complementarity that
exist between the economies of the Parties enable them to achieve levels of
cooperation and integration that favour the economic development of both Parties;
CONSIDERING the significance accorded by the Parties
to the development of closer, more dynamic and balanced trade and investment
relations between them, with clear and accurate guidelines that permit full
participation of all economic agents;
CONSIDERING the importance that the Parties accord to
economic co-operation between them for their economic development;
that in order to achieve a balance of rights and obligations within the
framework of this Agreement, liberalisation should include trade in goods and
services, and investment regimes;
CONSIDERING the rights and obligations of Member
States of CARICOM and the Dominican Republic as Members of the World Trade
Organisation (WTO), and other relevant international agreements as well as those
existing among the Member States of CARICOM under the Treaty of Chaguaramas;
The Parties agree to create a Free Trade Area that includes
Trade in Goods and Services, Investment and Economic Co-operation.
ARTICLE I - ESTABLISHMENT OF THE FREE
(i) The Free Trade Area
between CARICOM, comprising the States listed in 1 (ii) and the Dominican
(hereinafter referred to as "the Parties") is hereby established.
(ii) Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica,
Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St.
Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.
For the purpose of this Agreement, its Annexes and Appendices, reference to the
"territory of the Parties" shall:
for each Member State of CARICOM mean its territory, as well as its maritime
areas, including the seabed and subsoil adjacent to the outer limit of the
territorial sea, over which that State exercises, in
accordance with international law, jurisdiction or sovereign rights for the
purpose of exploration and exploitation of the natural resources of such areas;
for the Dominican Republic mean the land areas, maritime area, air space,
subsoil as well as the air
space above them in accordance with its national
legislation and international law.
For the purpose of this Agreement, its Annexes and Appendices, the More
Developed Countries of CARICOM (hereinafter referred to as "the MDCs"} are:
(v) Trinidad and Tobago
For the purpose of this Agreement, its Annexes and Appendices, the Less
Developed Countries of CARICOM (hereinafter referred to as "the LDCs") are:
Kilts and Nevis
Antigua and Barbuda
(vii) Saint Lucia
(viii) St Vincent and the Grenadines
The fundamental objective of the Agreement shall be to
strengthen the commercial and economic relations between the Parties through:
the establishment of a Free Trade Area between the Parties consistent with the
Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organisation (the
(ii) the promotion and expansion of the sale of goods
originating in the territories of the Parties through, Inter alia, free
access to the markets of the Parties, elimination of non-tariff barriers to
trade, and the establishment of a system of Rules of Origin, Customs
Co-operation and the Harmonisation of
Technical, Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary Procedures;
the progressive liberalisation of trade in services;
the liberalisation of the movement of capital between the Parties, and the
promotion and protection of investments aimed at taking advantage of the
opportunities offered by the markets of the Parties, and the strengthening of
the promotion of the active participation of private economic agents with a view
to deepening and broadening the economic relations between the Parties,
including the promotion and establishment of joint ventures;
the promotion and development of cooperative activities in the following areas:
agriculture, mining, industry, construction, tourism, transportation,
telecommunications, banking, insurance, capital markets, professional services
and science and technology;
the discouragement of anti-competitive business practices between and within the
- THE JOINT COUNCIL
The Parties hereby establish a Joint Council comprising
representatives of both Parties.
shall have the status of
recommendations to the Parties.
The Joint Council (hereinafter referred to as " the Council") shall:
supervise the implementation and administration of the Agreement, its Annexes
resolve any dispute which may arise out of the interpretation, execution of, or
non-compliance with, or application of this Agreement, its Annexes and
Appendices in accordance with its powers under Article XV dealing with
Settlement of Disputes;
establish and delegate responsibilities to ad hoc or standing committees,
working groups or expert groups;
(iv) supervise the work of all ad hoc or
standing committees, working groups and expert groups established under this
Agreement, its Annexes and Appendices;
(v) consult with governmental, inter-governmental and
non-governmental entities as necessary;
(vi) keep this Agreement, its Annexes and Appendices
under periodic review, evaluating the functioning of this Agreement and
recommending measures it considers suitable to better achieve its objective;
(vii) carry out any other functions which may be
assigned to it by the Parties;
(viii) consider any other matter that may affect the
operation of this Agreement, its Annexes and Appendices and take appropriate
(i) The Council shall establish its rules and
All decisions shall be taken by consensus.
The decisions of the Cou
Each Party shall designate a representative to transmit and receive
correspondence on its behalf.
ARTICLE IV -
MEETINGS OF THE JOINT COUNCIL
The Council shall convene in ordinary session at least once a
year and in extraordinary sessions at such other times as may be agreed between
The meetings of the Council shall be chaired jointly by the Parties.
Meetings shall be held alternately in the Dominican Republic and in a Member
State of CARICOM or such other place as may be agreed between the Dominican
Republic and CARICOM.
4. The Agenda for each ordinary meeting of the Council
shall be settled by the Parties at least one month before each proposed meeting.
ARTICLE V - TRADE IN GOODS
The Parties agree to implement a programme to liberalise the
trade in goods between them.
The conditions under which goods covered by this Agreement will be traded in the
Free Trade are set out in the
Agreement on Trade in Goods that appears as Annex I.
The Rules of Origin shall be those set out in Appendix I to Annex I.
ARTICLE VI - TRADE IN SERVICES
The Parties agree to progressively liberalise trade in
services between themselves by the establishment of a framework of principles
and rules as contained in the Agreement on Trade in Services that appears as
The Parties agree to promote and facilitate investments
within the Free Trade Area through the provisions contained in the Agreement on
Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investments that appears as Annex III.
ARTICLE VIII - TRADE FINANCING
The Council shall periodically review trade financing
arrangements between the Member States of CARICOM and the Dominican Republic and
recommend those mechanisms which may be implemented to facilitate this activity.
2. The Parties, recognising the importance of timely
payments for the development of trade, undertake to ensure that neither the
Dominican Republic nor any Member State of CARICOM shall impose undue
impediments to trade transactions and the corresponding timely payment for goods
and services traded within the context of this Agreement.
IX - ECONOMIC COOPERATION
The Parties agree to develop a broad co-operation programme
in the following areas: agriculture, mining, industry, construction, tourism,
transportation, telecommunications, banking, insurance, capital markets,
professional services, and science and
technology and such other areas as may be agreed by the Parties.
2. The Parties agree to encourage joint production of
and collaboration in the provision of services, especially those intended to
take advantage of market opportunities in third states.
ARTICLE X - DOUBLE TAXATION AGREEMENTS
The Parties agree to work towards the adoption of agreements
to prevent and avoid double taxation between the Member States of CARICOM and
the Dominican Republic.
ARTICLE XI - GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENT
The Parties agree to work towards the adoption of an
agreement to encourage and facilitate greater participation by their economic
entities in business opportunities arising from government procurement
ARTICLE XII - INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
The Parties agree to develop and adopt an Agreement on
Intellectual Property Rights, taking into account the rights and obligations
provided for in the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property
Rights (TRIPS), contained In Annex IC of the Agreement establishing the WTO, and
other relevant international agreements to which all the Member States of
CARICOM and the Dominican Republic are signatories.
Pending the adoption of the Agreement referred to in paragraph 1, the provisions
of the TRIPS and the other relevant international agreements to which all the
CARICOM Member States and the Dominican Republic are signatories will apply to
intellectual property rights issues which may arise between them.
ARTICLE XIII - PRIVATE
The Parties agree to promote active participation of the
private sector in the fulfillment of the objective of this Agreement. To this
end, the Parties establish a CARICOM/Dominican Republic Business Forum to
analyse trade and investment opportunities, exchange business information and
organise business encounters, and deal with any other relevant matter including
any matter as may be referred to it by the Council. The Forum shall regulate its
own procedures and may make recommendations to the Council on any matter within
ARTICLE XIV - COMMITTEES
There shall be the following Standing Committees which shall
operate under the guidance of the Council:
Committee on Trade in Goods;
(ii) Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade;
Committee on Sanitary and Phyto-sanitary Measures;
Committee on Rules of Origin and Customs Cooperation;
(v) Committee on Trade in Services;
Committee on Investment;
Committee on Intellectual Property Rights;
(viii) Committee on Anti-Competitive Business
Any other Committee which may be established by the Council pursuant to Article
Each Committee shall, inter alia, have the following functions:
monitor the implementation of the provisions of the Agreement, Annex or Appendix
within its area of competence;
(ii) consider all matters relating to the subject area
within its competence, including such matters as may be referred to it by the
(iii) consult on issues of mutual concern relating to
its subject area which arise in international fora;
facilitate information exchange among the Parties;
(v) create working groups or convene expert panels on
topics of mutual interest relating to its subject area;
any other function assigned to it by the Council.
3. Each Committee shall meet as may be agreed by its
members and shall regulate its own proceedings.
ARTICLE XV - SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES
The Parties agree to adopt the following Rules for the
Settlement of Disputes arising under this Agreement, its Annexes and Appendices.
2. The Rules governing Settlement of Disputes (the
Rules) shall apply to all disputes between the Parties relating to
interpretation, application, execution of or non-compliance with the provisions
of the Agreement, its Annexes and Appendices with the exception of matters
covered In Annex III.
3. The Parties shall first seek to resolve any dispute
referred to in paragraph 2 above through informal consultations and seek to
arrive at a mutually satisfactory solution. In the case of perishables, the
Parties shall notify the Council immediately of the dispute and of the
action being taken.
4. Where the Parties fail to arrive at a mutual
solution within 30 days, or in the case of perishables within 10 days, pursuant
to paragraph 3 above, the aggrieved Party may deliver to the other Party a
request in writing for the intervention of the Council. The request to the
Council shall contain sufficient information to enable examination of the
5. The Council shall ordinarily meet within 15 days of
receipt of a request and, in the case of perishables, within 5 days of receipt
of a request. In special circumstances the timeframe may be adjusted by mutual
agreement between the Parties. The Council shall render its decision within a
The Council may engage expert advisors in seeking solutions to disputes between
7. The Council shall within one (1) year after the
entry into force of this Agreement establish mechanisms for the settlement of
8. Pending the adoption of mechanisms provided for in
paragraph 7, the Council may exercise the option of conciliation, mediation
and/or "arbitration to resolve any dispute which may arise between the Parties.
XVI - AMENDMENTS
This Agreement, its Annexes and Appendices may be amended by
the Parties. Proposals made by one Party for amendments shall be submitted to
the Council for its consideration.
Amendments shall enter into force once the Parties have notified each other
through diplomatic channels, that all internal legal procedures have been
ARTICLE XVII - EVALUATION OF THE
Three (3) years after the entry into force of this Agreement,
the Council shall carry out an evaluation of the Agreement, its Annexes
and Appendices with respect to the achievement of their objectives and recommend
what further measures may be taken to achieve them. The recommendations shall
take into account any national, regional and international developments
affecting the matters covered by this Agreement, its Annexes and Appendices.
ARTICLE XVIII - TERMINATlON
Any Party may at any time withdraw from this Agreement by
giving written notice of termination to the other Party. Termination shall take
effect six (6) months after such notice is received by the other Party. The
rights acquired and the obligations assumed under this Agreement shall cease on
the effective date of termination, except as provided in paragraphs 2 and 3 of
Obligations undertaken prior to termination with respect to trade in goods and
services shall continue in force for a further period of one year, unless the
Parties agree to a longer period.
The provisions of the Agreement on the Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of
Investments (Annex III) shall continue to apply to investments established or
acquired prior to the date of termination, for a period of ten years from the
date of termination, except in so far as those provisions extend to the
establishment of covered investments.
ARTICLE XIX - ACCESSION BY OTHER STATES
This Agreement shall be open to other States subject to prior
negotiations between the Parties and those States which have requested to become
Parties to this Agreement.
2. The negotiations shall take into account that this
Agreement, its Annexes and its Appendices establish preferential treatment by
the Dominican Republic to the Less Developed Member States of CARICOM by reason
of their lesser degree of development.
ARTICLE XX - STATUS OF ANNEXES AND
The Annexes and Appendices of this Agreement shall form an
integral part thereof.
XXI - DEPOSITARY
This Agreement shall be deposited with the Secretary-General
of the Caribbean Community who shall transmit certified copies to the Parties.
ARTICLE XXII - ENTRY INTO FORCE
This Agreement, its Annexes and Appendices shall enter into
force on the 1st. day of January 1999, or as soon thereafter as the Parties have
notified each other through diplomatic channels that all internal legal
procedures have been completed.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I the undersigned
Plenipotentiaries, being duly authorised, have affixed their signatures to this
DONE AT Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic in the
English and Spanish languages, both being equally authentic, this 22nd day of August
For the Caribbean Community
For the Government of the Dominican Republic
DR. THE HON. KENNY ANTHONY
Chairman of the Conference of
Heads of Government of
the Caribbean Community
DR. THE HON. LEONEL
President of the Dominican