Most imports, except those from other CARICOM members, are subject to import duties that include a customs duty, a consumption tax, and a stamp tax. The Common External Tariff (CET) was reduced to 20% in 1999 and the 35% surtax was removed in 2000. Items that carry a higher import duty rate include fruit and vegetables (40%), jewelry (60%), watches (50%), and motor vehicles (45%). The value-added tax of 15% replaced eleven different taxes, mostly on imports. Import licenses are needed to import many agricultural products, but there are no export controls. Beer and fruit drinks may be imported only from CARICOM countries, but fruit juices may be imported from nonmember states.
Barbados became a signatory to the World Trade Organization agreement in 1994, agreeing to dismantle all non-tariff barriers by the year 2004.
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