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IMPORT APPLICATIONS AND DUTY RELIEF LICENCE: (commonly referred to as “Minister’s Licence”)

IMPORT APPLICATIONS AND DUTY RELIEF LICENCE: (commonly referred to as “Minister’s Licence”)

A. General documents required:

  1. Completed Application Form (in triplicate) for Licence to Import Goods into Trinidad and Tobago
  2. For Duty Relief Licences (ONLY) – A Cover Letter addressed to the Director of Fisheries requesting a Duty Relief License to import fish duty free for the purpose of processing, which it to include the following:
      • Species (common & scientific names)
      • Quantity and units of quantity
      • Customs Codes

Note that the letter MUST be accompanied by the completed application forms described at (i) above.

3.First time applicant, individual:

      • Original and copy of Advice of Assignment of BIR Number and Account Numbers issued by the Board of Inland Revenue
      • Original and copy of National Identification

The original of any document will be used for verification of the copy provided and will be returned to the applicant.

4.First time applicant (company):

      • Certificate of Incorporation
      • VAT registration (if applicable)
      • Original and copy of Advice of Assignment of BIR Number and Account Numbers issued by the Board of Inland revenue

B. General information required:

  1. Complete address of the Applicant
  2. Contact number and /or email address for the Applicant
  3.  Complete address of the Supplier
  4.  Scientific name (accurate spelling) comprising genus and species eg. Thunnus albacares (or else, at the very least, the genus eg Thunnus sp.) for all listed species on the application.
  5. Specify the unit of weight i.e. lbs or kg or tonnes
  6. Specify for each species the price in TTD per weight unit
  7.  Accurate currency calculations in TTD and USD (if provided)
  8. TTD – USD exchange rate
  9. Purpose of import:
    • Export (when the fish is imported, processed and exported – customs code changed – country of origin is Trinidad and Tobago)
    • Re-Export – (when the fish is imported duty-free and re-exported – customs code unchanged – country of origin is not Trinidad and Tobago);
    • Domestic Use (e.g. when the imported fish is to be sold on the local market, whether primarily processed or not; primarily processed fish includes fish that are live, fresh, chilled or frozen; fish meat that is fresh, chilled or frozen, or crustaceans and molluscs that are live, fresh, chilled or frozen);
    • Personal Use (when the fish is imported by an individual for personal consumption);
    • Scientific Research (if fish is imported for scientific purposes);
    • Market Research (e.g. fish is imported for new product testing)

C. The following documents (‘Returns’) must be submitted with or before making a new application:

  1. Copy of previously approved (by the Fisheries Division) Application for Licence to Import Goods into Trinidad and Tobago;
  2. Copy of Import Licence (issued by Ministry of Trade and Industry) with the “Importations against this Licence” (located at back of Licence) or copy of printout “Approval Confirmation (letter or email) from Ministry of Trade.
  3. In cases where it is not possible to attain the “Importations against this Licence” (located at back of Licence) the Baggage Receipt and the Official Receipts can be submitted.
  4. Copy of Form eC82 or drawdown list from the Customs and Excise Division
  5. Packing List (s) [if provided]
  6. Certificate of Eligibility for Export (Statistical Document – see 1F(ii)), Catch Document (see 1F(iii)), or other relevant document e.g. CITES Export Permit (see 1F(i)) issued by the competent fisheries management authority of the exporting country which validates or confirms that the relevant management measures for the respective species are complied with.

D. A copy of the valid fishing licence issued by the flag or other State is required for any tunas, mackerels, marlins, swordfish, sharks, snappers and groupers being imported as well as details concerning the fishing vessel(s) in the following format below:

VESSEL NAME VESSEL REG. # FLAG OF VESSEL OWNER OWNER CONTACT
TEL #
OWNER
ADDRESS
FISHING METHOD FISHING AREA
1.
2.

E. Due to their threatened/overexploited status, and in accordance with international fisheries management recommendations/measures, the following species will not be approved for import:

  1. Species listed under the Convention for International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES): Appendix I – https://www.cites.org/eng/app/appendices.php
    These species include:
    Sawfishes (Pristidae spp)
    Pangasid catfish (Pangasianodon gigas)
  2. Species managed by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) –
    https://www.iccat.int/Documents/Recs/COMPENDIUM_ACTIVE_ENG.pdf
    These species include, but are not limited to:

Sharks

    • Bigeye Thresher Shark (Alopias superciliosus)
    • Oceanic Whitetip Shark (Carcharhinus longimanus)
    • Hammerhead Sharks (family Sphyrnidae, except Sphyrna tiburo)
    • Silky Shark (Carcharhinus falciformis)
    • Shortfin mako (Isurus oxyrhynchus)
    • Fins from ALL SPECIES of sharks

3.  Species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species – These species include, but are not limited to:

F. Due to their threatened/overexploited status, and in accordance with international fisheries management recommendations/measures, the import of the following species will be regulated:

  1. Species listed under CITES Appendix II – https://www.cites.org/eng/app/appendices.php
    A CITES export permit (see 1C(vi)) must be obtained from the respective Competent Authority of the Country of Origin. These species include, but are not limited to:

    • Queen Conch (previously Strombus gigas, now called Lobatus gigas)
    • Pelagic thresher (Alopias pelagicus)
    • Thresher (Alopias vulpinis)
    • Eagle rays (Manta spp)
    • Mobulis rays (Mobula spp)
    • Whale shark (Rhincodon typus)
  2. Species under management recommendation of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) –
    https://www.iccat.int/Documents/Recs/COMPENDIUM_ACTIVE_ENG.pdf

These species include, but are not limited to:

    • North Atlantic Swordfish (Xiphias gladius)*
    • Bigeye Tuna (Thunnus obesus)*
    • Blue Marlin (Makaira nigricans)
    • White Marlin (Tetrapturus albidus)
    • Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus thynnus)*

* A Statistical Document Programme is implemented for these species (see 1C(vi))

3.  Species under the management of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Living Marine Resources (CCAMLR) –

    • Toothfish (Dissostichus spp) – CCAMLR Conservation Measure 10-05 (2018) Catch Documentation Scheme for Dissostichus spp. applies (see 1C(vi)) – A Catch Document validated by the competent fisheries management authority of the exporting country is required. https://www.ccamlr.org/sites/default/files/10-05_53.pdf

G. Applications for farmed fish (including shrimp, lobster, crab etc) must be made on a separate Application Form for Licence to Import Goods into Trinidad and Tobago (in triplicate) – i.e. wild caught and farmed products must be applied for on separate application forms.

H. Requirement for a Health Certificate – specifically for high risk species – the Competent Authority (Chemistry, Food and Drug Division of the Ministry of Health) should be contacted to ascertain whether or not a Health Certificate is required.

I. Requirement for inspection by Veterinary Public Health – the relevant application(s) will be stamped “All Shipments Must Be Inspected by Veterinary Public Health” and signed by the Director of Fisheries – this requirement pertains to all fish (including shrimp, crab, etc.) that are:

    • Live;
    • Identified or notified by a Competent Authority as being a (potential) threat to human health.

J. Imports of live fish (including crabs, lobsters and other marine fauna) must be notified to the Director of Fisheries at least 48 hours in advance and may be subject to inspection in accordance with the requirements of the Customs and Excise Division.

K. Bait species – the Director of Fisheries is to be informed in writing of the intended purpose for the importation of bait species (whether fresh or processed). Section 5 of the Fisheries Regulations specifies that: No Sardine shall be sold except to a bona fide fisherman for the purpose of bait.