The Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER Plus), which came into force in 2017, is a trade agreement covering goods, services, investment, labour, sanitary and phytosanitary measures and other issues. It includes a delayed tariff reduction schedule for the three least developed signatories, Kiribati, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu. Vanuatu, the region’s other least developed country (LDC), initially decided not to sign but eventually did joined.
Tariff reductions in LDCs begin in 2028 unless the country graduates from LDC status. Tariffs in the eight Pacific regional non-LDC developing country signatories must fall to zero by 25 years after 2017, the date of entry into force of the agreement. Tariff reductions for all countries mostly take place in the first 10 years.
In the event of graduation the agreement states that ‘year 1 LDC’ for tariff reductions will be the calendar year following that of the date of its LDC graduation. The tariff-reduction schedule would then take place over 25 years. Each country has a schedule of specific goods tariff commitments.
Utilization by LDCs:
Available smooth transition procedures: