Owner: Latoya Burnham
Last Updated: 30-10-2021 11:47
Regional Good Regulatory Practice Guide and National Code of Practice
Sponsored by European Union (EU) Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (OACPS) – TradeCom II Programme
The uniting vision of the countries of the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) is to develop a Community that is integrated, inclusive and resilient; driven by knowledge, excellence, innovation and productivity; where every citizen is secure and has the opportunity to realise his or her potential with guaranteed human rights and social justice; contributes to, and shares in, its economic, social and cultural prosperity and; a Community which is a unified and competitive force in the global arena.
The CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) is the regional centre for promoting efficiency and competitive production in goods and services, using standards, technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures. In this regard, CROSQ aims to support international competitiveness for the enhancement of social and economic development of the region.
Regulation may be generally defined as any legal government measure or intervention that seeks to change the behaviour of individuals or groups by general legal state intervention. However, regulations are only effective when guidelines and recommendations for their development and implementation are applied throughout the “life cycle” process. The application of Good Regulatory Practice (GRP) has been accepted worldwide as the best means to implement socially valuable product regulations and implement the WTO TBT agreement.
Government interventions may have an impact on the country as a whole. Where regulation is poorly designed or overly complicated it can impose excessive costs and inhibit the economic sector it is trying to regulate. Over-regulation cost money, reduces development and impedes innovation. The role of the government is to ensure that the balance is right: (i) providing proper protection of legitimate interests in accordance with international obligations, and, (ii) ensuring that the impact on those being regulated is proportionate.
Differences in the regulatory requirements by which standards are made mandatory in individual CARICOM Member States are among those that may have the greatest impact on regional trade, let alone international trade. In certain situations, regulatory requirements may actually impeded any gains from regional trade agreements, as regulating just on the basis of quality alone is no longer encouraged under post-1995 international trade rules.
Implementing this World Trade Organisation (WTO) compliant GRP Guide for the Region and ancillary fit-for-purpose National Code of Practice (COP) is one way of achieving a better understanding of different regulatory needs and avoiding unnecessary regulatory differences. It also results in harmonised, equivalent or compatible solutions to regional trade related issues analysing several policy options and performing a State Intervention Analysis (SIA), before deciding that a regulatory action is the best solution. Furthermore, it could be the case where no regulatory action or even no state intervention at all may be the best solution, after careful consideration among different policy options.
For this purpose, this Regional Good Regulatory Practice Guide (Regional GRP Guide) and its ancillary fit-for-purpose National Code of Practice (National COP) and its appendices have been prepared to assist CARICOM Member States in implementing GRP at the national level.
As an additional benefit the documents contained in this Guide can jump-start and foster regulatory cooperation among the countries of the region, an activity required to promote closer economic integration and trade among the countries of the CARICOM Region, as well as between other regions and the rest of the world.