Who is Export Saint Lucia?

Export Saint Lucia is a statutory agency established by the Government of Saint Lucia, through Act No. 16 of 2013. We are the lead agency spearheading the island’s National Export Development effort. Export Saint Lucia’s overall objective is to increase the volume and value of export from the island.

Frequently Asked Questions

Export Saint Lucia

  • What are Export Saint Lucia’s roles?
    Export Saint Lucia works to promote and expand business in export markets all around the world. We aim to:
    • Increase local exports
    • Assist local businesses improve profits
    • Help local businesses gain long term sustainability
    • Make a direct & valuable contribution to Saint Lucia’s economy
      Export Saint Lucia assists existing exporters increase their export volume and enter new markets. We aid emerging exporters realize their goal of becoming an exporter. Finally, we support potential exporters in increasing production, and becoming emerging exporters.
  • How does Export Saint Lucia assist exporters or manufacturers?
    Export Saint Lucia can help you with the following areas:
    • Export Promotion
    • Product Branding
    • Buyer-Seller Connections
    • Facilitating Trade
    • Transactions
    • Business Counseling
    • Exporter Training & Capacity Building
    • Trade Information
    • Business Support
  • Can Export Saint Lucia assist me in getting a loan from a financial institution for my project?
    Fortunately, Export Saint Lucia does not provide this service. Refer to the previous FAQ to find out how we can help.
  • Does Export Saint Lucia give money or cash injections directly to beneficiaries?
    Export Saint Lucia does not provide direct cash transfers to any beneficiaries. Instead, we offer our beneficiaries assistance through professional consultants and/or service providers.
  • What types of companies are eligible for assistance from Export Saint Lucia?

    We can assist companies who are:

           Already registered and exporting

           Ready to export

           Have the potential to export

    Export Saint Lucia will advise and provide you with assistance based on the level of exporting that your business has achieved.

  • How soon can Export Saint Lucia assist me?
    At Export Saint Lucia, we try our best to handle all requests for assistance as quickly as possible. However, you must note that the implementation time may vary based on:
    • The nature of your initiative
    • The availability of funds
    • The necessary approvals required

Exporting Questions

  • Do I need a license to export?
    That all depends on your product, or the nature of your export. It also depends on the market that you want to export to.   If you need more clarity, we suggest you refer to the ‘Guidelines To Doing Business With…’ section on our website. You can also take a look at the ‘Export Checklist’. For a physical copy, visit our office on the 2nd Floor of Hewanorra House at Pointe Seraphine, Castries.
  • Are there other types of licenses required for specific products? How can I get them?
    This all depends on the nature of your export. Here’s what you may need in order to complete an export clearance  
    • A commercial invoice
    • A certificate of origin
    • Pro Forma invoice
    • A license
    • A phytosanitary certificate
    • An Airway Bill or Bill of Lading
    • Export Packing List
  • Are there specific requirements on how I should label and package my goods?
    Packaging requirements for your export good is dependent on the standard requirement in the importing market. For example, if you are attempting to export to Grenada or the United Kingdom, you must adhere to the standards based on that country’s laws, values and customs.
  • What is a phytosanitary certificate?
    A phytosanitary certificate is a document issued by a plant health inspection agency. The agency will only provide this certification after they have deemed your consignment of plant material to be free from harmful pests and/or plant diseases.
  • Where can I acquire a phytosanitary certificate?
    In Saint Lucia, the Ministry of Agriculture is responsible for phytosanitary inspections. When exporting your products, be sure to obtain all information on phytosanitary requirements of the country that you are importing your goods to.   This will ensure that your products are not rejected for non-compliance.
  • What happens if I am unable to ship my products within the agreed timeframe?
    This all depends on the contents of the sales contract between you and your buyer. A sales contract usually sets out the rights and obligations of both the buyer and seller in the event of different circumstances.   If you run into issues, contact your buyer. They may agree to a new delivery date.
  • Do I have to ship my product in a container? Do I need to ship a full container?
    There is no need to ship a full container. You have the option of sending your goods as loose cargo through a consolidator.
  • What is a consolidator?
    A consolidator packs or ‘stuffs’ different consignments of products in the same container for shipping. When the container arrives at its destination, it’s ‘destuffed’ and the different consignments are released to their various owners.
  • I am a first time exporter. What do I need to know about exporting my product?
    For more information, please refer to the ‘Guidelines to doing business with’ section of our website for more information. You can only take a look at the ‘Export Checklist’ or get a copy from Export Saint Lucia’s office.   In the meantime, here are some key factors to note:  
    1. Tariff Numbers: This will determine the customs duties and taxes to be applied.
    2. Procedures & Formalities: These are key to overcome any hurdles in the customs clearance in the country of export
    3. Trade Barriers: As an exporter, this will assist you in knowing and overcoming the barriers that can affect your exports
    4. Sanitary & Phytosanitary Issues: These will inform you of the various certificates required for exporting. These can include food safety and plant health certificates.
    5. Rules of Origin: This area outlines any preferential treatments that exist between your country and the country of export.
  • What should I consider before making the decision to begin exporting?
    Did you know that you don’t need to actually export your product yourself? You can choose to export products yourself, or fill orders for domestic buyers. A good example of this is export trading companies that then export the product.   However you choose to export, it is extremely important to create an export strategy. A detailed and thorough strategy is integral to a successful planning process. Here are some things that you should note:  
    1. Evaluate the export potential of your product
    2. Determine whether you are really willing to make a commitment to exporting to regional or international markets.
    3. Evaluate whether your product is actually ‘export ready’
    4. Identify key foreign markets for your products. This is possible through conducting market research
    5. Evaluate distribution and promotional options. Establish an overseas distribution system
    6. Determine export prices, payment terms, methods, and techniques
    7. Become familiar with shipping methods, export documentation procedures, export financing, and other requirements for exporting
  • What is a Harmonized System (HS) code/classification number?
    This is a 6-digit standardized numerical method of classifying traded products.   HS numbers are used by customs authorities around the world to identify products for several reasons including:  
    1. Applying duties and taxes
    2. Import and export admissibility
    3. Whether or not the good should be physically examined
      The first 6 digits of the Harmonized System code indicate the same product description for all 190 countries that are part of the World Customs Organization*. However, this does not mean that custom duty rates are the same in all of these countries.   There are over 5,000 groups of 6 digit codes. Some governments choose to add additional digits to the HS code to further distinguish products in certain categories. The HS code is also used to establish the basic rules of various trade agreements such as NAFTA.   ‘*’ - The World Customs Organization is an independent, intergovernmental organization based in Brussels, Belgium.
  • Are there any prohibitions of restrictions on what I can export?
    It is important to be aware that the exportation of certain goods may be prohibited or restricted at any given time. This means that certain goods may not be able to be exported at all. Other goods may be exported only with a valid licence and/or authorization from the necessary parties.   You should be aware that certain prohibitions and restrictions apply to allow goods, irrespective of their destination. In the case of some goods, there may not be any difficulty with movement within the respective exporting country.   Here’s a list of the types of products that are prohibited or restricted on exportation:  
    1. Agricultural and Food Products
    2. Cultural Artifacts
    3. Drugs
    4. Weapons
    5. Counterfeit or Pirated Goods
    6. Indecent Articles, Publications, Video Recordings
    7. CITES: Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species)
  • What should I Know about the country I intend to export my goods to?
    Before making your first shipment to any country, the following factors must be critically assessed:  
    1. Demographics of the country including the distribution of population age and income
    2. Per capita income, rate of economic growth, and stages of economic development
    3. Political stability, rule of law, regulations, ease of doing business
    4. Culture and business practices
    5. Market entry, taxes, duties, import licenses, and inspection
    6. Infrastructure, ease of moving products, communication, roads, ports, and airports
More Questions? Contact Us Today