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Caribbean States Continue Common Market Talks

by Mike Godfrey, Lowtax.net, Washington
01 June, 2016

Members of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States are meeting in Antigua and Barbuda to discuss the formation of a common market.

The issues being discussed include mechanisms for distinguishing between the movement of personal effects and commercial goods within the common market for the purpose of applying VAT and excise taxes. Procedures for the treatment of goods including passengers' baggage and excisable goods (e.g. tobacco-based products and alcohol for personal consumption) and harmonizing border controls are also being discussed.

A key principle of the common market is that persons travelling within the area should be treated as if they have been cleared for entry and satisfy all required border control formalities for entry. Visitors arriving from outside the space should only need to satisfy border control checks at the first point of entry into the area. They should then be able to move freely within the area, without subsequent border control checks.

The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States is a nine-member grouping comprising Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands are associate members.

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