Import and Export Procedures

  • Importing

    • Licence

      There are few items that require an import licence in order to enter Trinidad and Tobago. Importers wishing to import goods that require a licence, are required to apply for a licence from the Ministry of Trade and Industry. It is advisable to do so prior to arranging for the goods to be shipped, in the event that an application for a licence is denied. The list of items requiring an import licence is continuously reviewed, therefore, persons requiring information on whether the item they wish to import requires a licence, should contact the Trade and Commerce Division of the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

    • Customs

      A customs declaration form (Form C-82) is prepared by a customs broker on behalf of the importer. This form, accompanied by supporting documents, such as an invoice from the supplier, bill of lading, licence, if a licence was required, health certificates4 among others, has to be lodged with Customs, once the goods have arrived in Trinidad. The documents are scanned into the ASYCUDA system, for verification and extracting of statistical information and the duties determined accordingly.

      Once the documents have been stamped by Customs and the duties paid, an inspection is carried out at the port of entry, before the goods are cleared.

    • Duties and Concessions

      • Raw Materials

        Raw materials are generally free of customs duties; however, where the raw materials serve dual purpose, they may be subject to duties. The importer may apply for a Minister's Licence through TIDCO in order to import these items free of duty.

      • Plant and Machinery

        The majority of plant and machinery is free of duty or subject to a 2.5% rate of duty.

      • Caricom Goods

        Under the Caribbean Common Market (CARICOM) trade agreement, no duty is paid on goods coming from CARICOM member countries. For goods whose origin is outside of CARICOM, a Common External Tariff exists. Duties range from 5% to 35% and are scheduled to be reduced.

      • Other Duty Free Goods

        Under the various incentive programmes for approved projects, imports may be free of duty.

  • Exporting

    Exporters are required to make a declaration to Customs on the goods to be exported prior to their export, and to have them examined before shipping. There is a system of priority for exports to ensure that the minimum time is spent in the declaration and verification process. The purpose of the declaration and verification is to prevent smuggling and ensure that restricted goods, such as some mining and fish products, are accompanied by their appropriate licences or certificates. Customs also performs agency duties in respect of the VAT Administration office. Here they verify that goods on which no VAT has been paid for the purpose of re-export, are being exported. Items being sent abroad for repairs are also subject to a verification check, since the duties charged on their return would be only on the cost of the repairs. Current Procedures for Export

    Organisations involved in the Export Process and Exporting goods out of Trinidad and Tobago may involve contact with a number of organizations will be found at Ministry of Trade and Industry website: http://www.tradeind.gov.tt/

  • Export Licenses, Certificates and Procedures:

    Organization

    Name of the Procedure

    Comment

    LICENSES

    Ministry of Trade and Industry

    Export License Goods on the export negative list include some fish products, minerals, plants and firearms. An exporter is required to apply for a license from the Ministry of Trade and Industry. A prior recommendation in the form of a stamp on the application form, is also required from the organization responsible for safeguarding and monitoring the supply of the goods. These may include: Fisheries Division or Plant Quarantine of the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Marine Resources, The Commissioner of Police for export of firearms and explosives or the Ministry of Energy for Minerals.

    HEALTH CERTIFICATES

    Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Marine Resources

    Export Health Certificate for Live Animals The Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Marine Resources also issues export health certificates for the export of live animals, through the government veterinary office of the Wild Life, Forestry Division.

    Plant Quarantine of the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Marine Resources

    Phytosanitary Certificate This certificate may be required by the receiving country, for the export of plants, such as cut flowers.

    Food and Drugs Inspectorate and Chemistry Divisions of the Ministry of Health

    Health Certificate This certificate may be required by the receiving country, for the export of fresh and processed foods, and drugs. The foods include fish, cooked meats, among others.
    Analysis Chemistry Food and Drugs Division also undertakes the various analyses of the contents in foods, which may be required for labelling and/or packaging, or as a requirement of the importing country.

    CERTIFICATES OF ORIGIN, FOR INCENTIVES OFFERED BY IMPORTING COUNTRY

    Tourism and Industrial Development Comapny (TIDCO)

    Certificate of Origin for CARIBCAN, CARICOM/Venezuela and Colombian trade agreements. Required for receiving the concessions under the Canadian/Caribbean agreement, the CARICOM/ Venezuela trade agreements and the bilateral agreement with Colombia.

    Customs and Excise Division of the Ministry of Finance

    Certificate of Origin for exports to the United States (General System of Preference (G.S.P.) certificate) and to Europe and the United Kingdom (Eur 1 certificate). Required for receiving the concessions under the Caribbean Basin Initiative (C.B.I.) and under the Lomé Convention trade agreements, respectively. The forms are stamped by Customs.
     

    Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce

    Certificate of Origin Some countries specifically ask for a stamp from a body designated to issue Certificates of Origin. The Chamber of Industry and Commerce issues certificates for those countries where there is no trade agreement with Trinidad and Tobago.

    Ministry of Foreign Affairs and / or Foreign Missions

    Authentication of signatories and / or Documents Some countries specifically ask for a stamp from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and / or their Foreign Mission, authenticating signatories and / or documents.

    CUSTOMS DECLARATION AND INSPECTION

    Customs and Excise Division of the Ministry of Finance

    Customs Declaration and Inspection Exporters are required to make a declaration to Customs on the goods to be exported, prior to their export. Documents are lodged at the Customs and Excise Division office in Port of Spain. There is a system of priority for exports to ensure that the minimum time is lost in the declaration process.

    Customs and Excise Division of the Ministry of Finance

    Customs Inspection Goods are subject to an examination before shipping, at the port of exit, for the purpose of preventing smuggling. Customs also performs agency duties in respect of the VAT Administration office, where they verify that goods on which no VAT has been paid, for the purpose of re-export, are being exported. Items being sent abroad for repairs, are also subject to a verification check, since the duties charged on their return would be only on the cost of the repairs.

Details available at Trinidad and Tobago Investment Guide by Ministry of Trade and Industry: http://www.tradeind.gov.tt/Portals/0/Documents/Investment/Investment%20G...

Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce (TTCIC)

Since March 14, 1879, the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce (TTCIC) has lobbied on behalf of our members‘ interests and has made an impact on the conduct of business and the development of the national economy and to be the most vibrant, influential and authoritative business organization in Trinidad and Tobago.

TTCIC offers an extensive portfolio of services which provide benefits for our membership in order to assist in growing their companies, including 13 active standing committees in Trinidad and have in Tobago, lobbying, trade missions, trade portal, market research information, alternative dispute resolution, mediation and arbitration, business referrals, training seminars, workshops, publications, CONTACT business magazine, the Chamber radio series, conference/meeting facilities, networking and events.

Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce (TTCIC)
Columbus Circle, Westmoorings, P.O. Box 499 Port of Spain, Trinidad W.I.
Tel: 868 637 6966 868 637 6966
Fax: 868 637 7425
E-mail: cham...@chamber.org.tt
Website: http://chamber.org.tt/

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