Domestic Regulation Issues in Services Trade: Mutual Recognition for Professionals Ramesh Chaitoo International Trade Consultant [email protected] [email protected] 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 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 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 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 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 standards? 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 Qualifications 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 Community. 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 countries 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 experience? Association of Commonwealth Societies of Architects in the Caribbean (ACSAC) www.acsac.net 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 (FCAA) 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 2009. 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 (CAMRAC) Conclusion 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.