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Free Movement of Labour and Regulatory Harmonization Issues in CARICOM . Ramesh Chaitoo Services Trade Specialist, CRNM rchaitoo@crnm.org OAS Workshop on Labour Dimension of FTAs and Regional Integration Processes Port of Spain, July 10, 2007. CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) .

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free movement of labour and regulatory harmonization issues in caricom

Free Movement of Labour and Regulatory Harmonization Issues in CARICOM

Ramesh Chaitoo

Services Trade Specialist, CRNM

rchaitoo@crnm.org

OAS Workshop on Labour Dimension of FTAs and Regional Integration Processes

Port of Spain, July 10, 2007

caricom single market and economy csme
CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME)
  • Free movement of capital, services and labour by December 31, 2005
  • Seamless economic space – Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent & Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago
categories of persons eligible to move freely
Categories of Persons Eligible to Move Freely
  • CARICOM nationals/natural persons who are:
    • University graduates;
    • Media persons, sports persons, artistes and musicians;
    • Self-employed service providers;
    • Managerial, Technical and Supervisory staff relating to the particular enterprise;
phased approach to free movement
Phased Approach to Free Movement
  • Standardisation of qualifications.
  • Free movement is being phased in gradually and the categories of Artisans, Associate Degrees and equivalent qualifications are to be granted this right by the end of 2007.
categories cont d
Categories (cont’d)
  • Spouses and immediate dependent family members; and
  • Consumers consuming services abroad.
  • Or a company or other legal entity which is 50% or more owned and effectively controlled by a CARICOM national with the power to name a majority of its directors or otherwise legally direct its actions
caricom national means a person who
“CARICOM national” means a person who:

(a) is a citizen of a Member State; or

(b) has a connection with a Member State of a kind which entitles that person to be regarded as belonging to or, if it be so expressed, as being a native or resident of such a Member State for the purposes of the laws thereof relating to immigration;

mutual recognition in caricom
Mutual Recognition in CARICOM
  • Article 35 of the Revised Treaty (2001)

Acceptance of Diplomas, Certificates and Other Evidence of Qualifications

caricom revised treaty art 35
CARICOM Revised Treaty - Art. 35

1. COHSOD, ….. shall establish common standards and measures for accreditation or when necessary for the mutual recognition of diplomas, certificates and other evidence of qualifications of nationals of the Member States in order to facilitate access to, and engagement in, employment and non-wage-earning activities in the Community.

art 35
Art. 35

2. The Member States shall establish or employ, as the case may be, appropriate mechanisms to establish common standards to determine equivalency or accord accreditation to diplomas, certificates and other evidence of qualifications secured by nationals of other Member States.

art 3510
Art. 35

3. COHSOD shall also establish measures for the coordination of legislative and administrative requirements of the Member States for the participation of Community nationals in employment and for the conduct of non-wage-earning activities in the Community.

regime for professional services
Regime for Professional Services

Step 1 - Implementation of common Skills Legislation to allow the free movement of university graduates

Step 2 - Development of regulatory and administrative arrangements for free movement

Step 3 - Establishment of a national and regional accreditation infrastructure

regime cont d
Regime (cont’d)

Step 4 – Introduction of model legislation for professional services to allow convergence of regulations; slow process

1st initiative - Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Education in Medical and Other Health Professions

so what is on the ground now
So, what is on the ground now?
  • Regional associations for: accounting, architecture, engineering, legal, doctors and nurses.
  • Not much movement previously; segmented national markets
  • Official process will change that with Single Market – no work permit requirement
movement of vocational skills
Movement of Vocational Skills

In the absence of professional bodies in the case of artisans, it is a challenge to ensure standards across region.

National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) and Caribbean Vocational Qualifications (CVQs) are being implemented in an effort to address this.

In the case of ‘equivalent qualifications’ there has to be regional collaboration among the accreditation bodies.

canta regional body
CANTA - Regional Body
  • CANTA - Caribbean Association of Regional Training Agencies
  • Established in Nov. 2003
  • Founding members - Barbados TVET Council; Jamaica Heart Trust/NTA; Trinidad & Tobago NTA
  • CANTA is Advisory Body to COHSOD
xv cohsod
XV COHSOD:
  • Approved establishment of scheme for award of Caribbean Vocational Qualification.
  • Authorized the National Training Agencies which had approved arrangements for issuing NVQs to offer the CVQ.
  • Requested NTAs, Ministries of Education & Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) to work towards awarding CVQ in school system.
  • In July 2006 Caricom HOG agreed that free movement of artisans can begin as soon as CVQ is launched.
legal services
Legal Services
  • Caribbean Council for Legal Education
  • National Bar Associations
  • University of the West Indies – LLB
  • Regional Law Schools (3) grant Legal Education Certificate – 2 yrs study
  • New lawyers from region – no problem for movement
  • More complicated for outsiders
acceptance of other lawyers
Acceptance of other lawyers
  • If trained overseas may have to write exam to gain entrance to law school
  • Places are quite limited
  • Various scenarios but lawyer does not need to be called to Bar if only providing legal advice;
  • Only critical if need to appear before Court
  • If registered in one Caricom state lawyer should be recognized by others
medical professionals
Medical Professionals
  • If doctors are UWI trained or from accredited universities – fairly easy
  • If from other circumstances – complex procedure
  • Nurses – Regional exam and common standards. Nurses should be able to move in Caricom; but they emigrate instead!!
conclusion
Conclusion
  • Mutual recognition, equivalence, accreditation, common standards mandated in Treaty setting up single market
  • Governments set rules – professional & vocational associations have to comply
  • Licensing & registration requirements at the national level will eventually converge