Trinidad and Tobago - Country Commercial Guide
Trade Barriers
Last published date:

While TT has made considerable strides in reducing trade barriers, clearing goods through local customs is the most frequently-reported problem facing companies operating in TT with delays sometime taking weeks.  The customs process requires numerous administrative organizations and information is sometimes not adequately published.  While most items can be imported freely, some categories of products on a “negative list” require import licenses and may be subject to import surcharges.  The procedures to obtain an import permit have improved but the length of time to obtain the permit varies.  Some barriers occasionally arise that are attributable to TT’s implementation of CARICOM directives and regulations.  Strict regulations govern the importation of pharmaceuticals for safety, efficacy, and quality.  The Food and Drug Act requires all drugs distributed or sold in TT to be assessed, registered, and certified by the TT Food and Drug Administration.  Some U.S. firms have highlighted difficulties in registering cosmetic and pharmaceutical products, with the TT authorities requiring disclosure of active ingredients, even in cases where there are none.  Despite rolling out an updated portal to streamline import and export procedures, electronic payments are not allowed, nor do all ministries with a role in the import and export process participate in the updated portal.

Items on the negative list

For more information and help with trade barriers please contact:

Enforcement and Compliance unit at the International Trade Administration

Tel: (202) 482-0063