Domestic Regulation Issues in
Services Trade: Mutual Recognition
for Professionals
Ramesh Chaitoo
International Trade Consultant
Workshop on Services Trade Negotiations
St Vincent, May 16-18, 2012
Restrictions on Temporary
Movement of Professionals
Nationality requirements
Residency requirements
Economic Needs Tests
Certification of Qualifications
Licensing requirements
1. Should not act as trade barrier – Cumbersome
requirements make it very difficult for
professionals & mainly SMEs in DCs to meet;
Transparent & predictable.
Impartial procedures.
Reasonable time frame for processing.
Reasons for rejecting application.
Fees - should reflect admin cost (except
auctions like telecoms).
Qualification requirements & procedures
Must be competent.
Procedures should not be barrier to trade.
Verification & assessment - accreditation body.
Timeframes - “reasonable”.
Explain why if application is rejected.
Fees charged – should reflect admin cost &
not prohibitive to foreign suppliers.
Technical Standards
1. Domestic or international?
2. If purely domestic, should not be overly difficult
or different from most other countries.
3. What level of “participation” in development of
4. Small countries do not have capacity to
develop standards; some rich countries think
international standards are lowest common
denominator & they want higher.
Mutual Recognition in CARICOM
Article 35 of the Revised Treaty (2001) - Acceptance of
Diplomas, Certificates and Other Evidence of
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
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.
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
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 changed that with Single
Market – no work permit requirement
But administrative procedures &
recognition issues
Architecture Regime
1. Different legal traditions, languages, training,
licensing, registration requirements across
Caricom (except English states -ACSAC)
2. Need to organize regionally across all Caricom
3. Develop or agree on common requirements or,
assess and establish equivalence of the different
training programs
4. How to deal with current practitioners who will
not meet the new standards but have vast
Association of Commonwealth Societies of
Architects in the Caribbean (ACSAC)
Antigua and Barbuda Institute of Architects
Association of Professional Architects of Belize
Barbados Institute of Architects
Dominica Society of Architects
Guyana Institute of Architects
Institute of Bahamian Architects
Jamaican Institute of Architects
Trinidad and Tobago Institute of Architects
St Lucia Institute of Architects (associate)
Other Architecture Bodies
Federation of Caribbean Associations of Architects
Colegio Dominicano de Ingenieros, Arquitectos y
Agrimensores (CODIA)
Unie van Architecten in Suriname (UAS)
Curaçao (SAIA)
British Virgin Islands
Regional approach
Market for architectural services is not only CARICOM
but wider Caribbean
Dominican Republic & Dutch territories, French DOMs
(Martinique, Guadeloupe, Guyane Francaise)
To take advantage of market access in EU under EPA need MRAs with European Architect Associations. MOU
signed with Architects Council of Europe (ACE) in Nov
MOU on pan-Caribbean cooperation signed by architect
associations in June 2010
In November 2010 it was agreed to set up Caribbean
Architects Mutual Recognition Agreement Committee
Mutual recognition, equivalence, accreditation,
common standards mandated in Treaty setting
up CARICOM Single Market
Governments set rules – professional &
vocational associations have to comply
Licensing & registration requirements at the
national level will eventually converge
But it is a complicated and slow process
Wider regional market & global trade also
influencing process.

Global Trade in Services: