International Trade In Goods And Services In The Dominican Republic: Overview 2021

Published date15 November 2021
Law FirmGuzman Ariza Attorneys At Law
AuthorMr Alberto Reyes B'ez and Leandro Corral

Recent Trends

1. What are the recent trends affecting the regulation of international trade in your jurisdiction?

The Dominican Republic has established diplomatic relationships with China in 2018 and has increased its commercial relationships with China in 2019.

The Financial Action Group (Grupo de Accion Financiera) has amended its internal rules on how to prepare and document international trade operations.

The Dominican Republic is negotiating a trade agreement with the UK. The UK has recommended that the Dominican Republic approve its economic partnership agreement with the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM).

Trade Agreements

2. Is your jurisdiction a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO)? What are the main international, regional or bilateral trade agreements to which your country is a party?

The Dominican Republic has been a member of the WTO since its creation in 1995 and a party to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) since the 1950s. See WTO: Dominican Republic and the WTO. Other trade agreements are described below.

DR-CAFTA

The Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA) was signed on 5 August 2004 and has been effective in the Dominican Republic since 1 March 2007. The DR-CAFTA facilitates trade and investment between its member states, and promotes regional integration by eliminating tariffs, opening markets, reducing barriers to services, promoting competition, protecting intellectual property rights, and advancing transparency. Parties to the agreement are the US, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. These last six countries represent the third largest export market for US goods in Latin America, after Brazil and Mexico.

The DR-CAFTA is the first free trade agreement (FTA) between the US and a small group of developing countries. It permanently guarantees the Dominican Republic the ability to export most of its products and services to other member states without customs duties. Signatories of the DR-CAFTA have access to services sectors including financing, insurance, investments, tourism, energy, transport, construction and engineering, government contracts, telecommunications, express delivery, electronic commerce, entertainment, professional services, computer and related services, and environmental industries. Laws that protect domestic dealers by locking companies into distributorship arrangements have been loosened.

See: USTR: CAFTA-DR (Dominican Republic-Central America FTA).

CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA)

The EPA is a free trade treaty with financing and investment aspects signed in 2007 between the EU and CARIFORUM, an organisation of Caribbean nations whose members are Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Dominican Republic.

The EPA allows duty-free access to Caribbean products to all EU member states and provides economic assistance to Caribbean countries with the stated purpose of reducing poverty, promoting regional integration, and encouraging regional consolidation into the world economy.

The EPA also promotes free trade within the Caribbean region. The Dominican Republic entered into the EPA on 15 October 2008. See: Europa: Countries and regions: Caribbean.

CARICOM-Dominican Republic FTA

The Dominican Republic signed an FTA with CARICOM in 1998 and ratified it in February 2002. This FTA establishes free trade zones in the region along WTO guidelines. Trade between the Dominican Republic with other more developed Caribbean states takes place on an equal or reciprocal basis, but may be differentiated with those less developed, such as Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and...

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