Trinidad and Tobago and Costa Rica have enjoyed cordial relations since the establishment of diplomatic relations. Trinidad and Tobago by virtue of its membership in CARICOM is allowed preferential access to the Costa Rican market through the CARICOM – Costa Rica Free Trade Agreement.
The Agreement, one of the earliest of its kind with a country from Central America, was signed on March 9, 2014 and provides for free trade or preferential access for a wide range of goods into both the CARICOM and Costa Rican markets. At present, approximately 95% of products are traded duty free between the two Parties. A limited number of sensitive products, such as fish, chocolate, cigarettes and certain agricultural commodities continue to attract duty. The Agreement currently provides for trade in goods and contains provisions for anti-dumping and dispute settlement. A built-in agenda is included for trade in services, investment, competition policy, and government procurement. Legislation has been approved by both Trinidad and Tobago (Act No. 4, 2005) and Costa Rica to give effect to the preferences under this agreement. This is currently being implemented.
For Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica as part of the Latin American market, provides a point of focus given their geographical proximity, population, geographical disposition, purchasing power and investment opportunities.
The preferential tariffs arrangements afforded to the private sector can be accessed here.
The Agreement also provides for the Parties to review developments related to trade in services and investment and to further develop disciplines in this area.
CARICOM-Costa Rica Free Trade Agreement
CARICOM members and Costa Rica
Date of signature/entry into force
End of transition period (goods liberalization) for Trinidad and Tobago
End of transition period: 2007. The liberalization schedules for this Agreement were presented utilizing a negative list approach. Upon full implementation, all tariff lines were duty-free, except for: 96 subheadings at the 6-digit level; and 37 headings at the 4-digit level. Certain agricultural products are subject to seasonal MFN duties but are duty-free for the rest of the year
Liberalization of goods only. Negative list approach. Agreement also has provisions on areas such as: services, investment, competition policy, and government procurement
Trinidad and Tobago's merchandise trade with Costa Rica (2017)
0.7% of total imports; 0.1% of total exports
WTO legal cover
Not applicable (not notified)
WTO consideration status