A more harmonized CARICOM Single Market (CSME) legislation is the objective of a two-day compact discourse being held here among the private and public sector and CARICOM officials.
“At the end of the consultancy, they would have reviewed the draft legislation and present them to create a harmonization of legislation related to the five CSME regimes,” said Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Employment, Trade, Industry and Diaspora Affairs, Careen Prevost, at the start of the consultation on Thursday.
She said that before the stakeholders is the draft CARICOM Community Bill 2014 which aims to improve the legislative framework for implementing CSME regimes.
“Namely, we are here to discuss the rights of establishments, the right to provide a service, to move capital, and the right to move CARICOM nationals. The bill we are looking at will repeal and replace the legal frame work, which fail to implement the treaty comprehensively,” she pointed out.
Prevost mentioned further that complaints have been heard and the national consultancy, “really aims to look at the bill in its entirety and look at how the deficiencies can be addressed.”
Some of the deficiencies include: The immigration and passport act, the fisheries act, fiscal incentives, road traffic act, nurses registration, engineering, professions act among others.
“So there are number of areas which deal with rights of establishment and the rights of nationals to move. And we are very happy that we have a very good representation here today from the relevant department within the government which deals with these areas,” she noted.
Prevost stated that in 2013 a process looking at administrative reform and a consultancy was conducted to create best practice models and to deliver technical assistance to implement national CSME work plans.
“Today we are dealing with the second element of this project. We are looking at legislative reform and we are here over the next two days to participate in a consultancy to prepare draft model regulations for CSME regime,” she stated.
She remarked that the following activities have been completed under the 2013 consultancy:
-Progress reports for Dominica have been submitted containing a detailed description on the agenda for drafting for member states
-completed the analysis on the insufficiency of legislative regulatory and institutional landscape
– identified proposed interventions to be undertaken to address these deficiencies
Meantime Ambassador to the OECS and CARICOM Felix Gregoire said that CARICOM is making a “very concerted effort to work with the private sector because all the arrangements with respect to the CSME if the private sector doesn’t take advantage of those arrangements then we will not meet our objectives.”
“CARICOM is putting a lot of emphasis on that,” he said. “So today we meet here as mainly public officers, but tomorrow there is a session for the private sector and that will be the trend that CARICOM is going to follow, working closely with the private sector to ensure that we meet our objectives.”
He said that he hopes that at the end of the day there will be less complaints about CARICOM: where is and where it is headed.
The consultation, according to a CARICOM official is part of a broader package of technical assistance to member states to assist them to implement their CARICOM Single Market obligations.
Dominica is one of the first countries that these consultations are being held, and a few weeks later down a final draft is expected to be ready.