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TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

Since April 1997

Pillar Telecom infrastructure and competition  |  Sub-pillar Signature of the WTO Telecom Reference Paper
WTO Telecom Reference Paper
Trinidad and Tobago has appended the World Trade Organization (WTO) Telecom Reference Paper to its schedule of commitments.
Coverage Telecommunications sector

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

Since February 2012

Pillar Telecom infrastructure and competition  |  Sub-pillar Functional/accounting separation for operators with significant market power
Accounting Separation Guidelines for the Telecommunications Sector
Trinidad and Tobago mandates functional and accounting separation for operators with significant market power (SMP) in the telecom market. The Accounting Separation Guidelines for the Telecommunications Sector from February 2012 dictate the preparation of separate accounts for each of the different businesses operated by the same concessionaire, by identifying and allocating the costs and revenues associated with each business as well as the dealings between them. It sets the guiding principles for this process, which concessionaires must implement. Dominance can be reviewed at any time when deemed necessary or upon the request of an operator. These guidelines are emitted as per Section 24.1 of the Telecommunications Act 2001. Additionally, it is reported that functional separation has also required by law, although the law has not been identified.
Coverage Telecommunications sector

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

Since August 1990, last amended in 2007

Pillar Telecom infrastructure and competition  |  Sub-pillar Other restrictions to operate in the telecom market
Foreign Investment Act, 1990
The Foreign Investment Act requires that foreigners must have a license to own more than 30% of a public company, as mandated in Art. 5. This applies to all sectors, including any public companies that operate in the telecommunications sector.
In addition, it is reported that there are other restrictions for obtaining a license. These include, among others, minimum capital requirements to obtain a license.
Coverage Telecommunications sector

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

Since January 1970

Pillar Telecom infrastructure and competition  |  Sub-pillar Presence of shares owned by the government in telecom companies
Presence of shares owned by the government in the telecom sector
The Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (TSTT) is jointly owned by National Enterprises Limited (NEL), which in turn is majority owned by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, and Cable & Wireless (West Indies) Limited, (C&W). NEL owns 51% of TSTT's issued share capital. TSTT provides the following telecommunications services: mobile telephone, data (domestic and international), voice (domestic and international), internet access and cable TV broadcast.
Coverage Telecommunications sector

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

Since December 1997

Pillar Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs)  |  Sub-pillar Effective protection covering trade secrets
Protection Against Unfair Competition Act
Trinidad and Tobago does not have a comprehensive framework in place that provides effective protection of trade secrets, but there are limited measures addressing some issues related to them. Art. 9 of the Protection Against Unfair Competition Act determines that any act or practice, in the course of industrial or commercial activities, that results in the disclosure, acquisition or use by others of secret information without the consent of the person lawfully in control of that information and in a manner contrary to honest commercial practices shall constitute an act of unfair competition. In addition, Art. 9 defines "secret information" as well as setting out what its disclosure may result from, such as industrial or commercial espionage or breach of contract.
Coverage Horizontal

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

Since July 2001, as amended in 2004
Since August 2006

Pillar Telecom infrastructure and competition  |  Sub-pillar Passive infrastructure sharing obligation
Telecommunications Act

Telecommunications (Access to Facilities) Regulations
There is an obligation for passive infrastructure sharing in Trinidad and Tobago to deliver telecom services to end users. It is practiced in the mobile sector and in the fixed sector based on commercial agreements. Passive sharing of telecom infrastructure is mandated under Art. 26 (1) of the Telecommunications Act of 2001, which was amended in 2004 to include this provision. The document titled Telecommunications (Access to Facilities) Regulations details the regulations for licensees of telecommunications services to negotiate in good faith in order to share use of their facilities.
Coverage Telecommunications sector

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

Since November 2008

Pillar Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs)  |  Sub-pillar Signature of the WIPO Copyright Treaty
WIPO Copyright Treaty
Trinidad and Tobago has ratified the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Copyright Treaty.
Coverage Horizontal

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

Since November 2008

Pillar Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs)  |  Sub-pillar Signature of the WIPO Performances and Phonogram Treaty
WIPO Performances and Phonogram Treaty
Trinidad and Tobago has ratified the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Performances and Phonogram Treaty.
Coverage Horizontal

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

Since October 1997

Pillar Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs)  |  Sub-pillar Copyright law with clear exceptions
Copyright Act
Trinidad and Tobago has a clear regime of copyright exceptions that follows the fair dealing model, which enables the lawful use of copyrighted work by others without obtaining permission. According to Art. 10 and 11, the act protects works for the sole fact of their creation and irrespective of their mode or form of expression, as well as of their content, quality and purpose. The law establishes and regulates a series of exceptions for the use of copyrighted work, in which protected works may be used without the authorization of the owner of the copyright, and without payment of compensation. These are as follows:
- Private reproduction for personal purposes, as per Art. 9;
- Reproduction for teaching, as per Art. 11;
- Reproduction by libraries and archives, as per Art. 12;
- Reproduction, broadcasting and other communication to the public for information purposes, as per Art. 13;
- Reproduction and adaptation of computer programs, as per Art. 14.
Coverage Horizontal

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

Reported in 2020, last reported in 2022

Pillar Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs)  |  Sub-pillar Enforcement of copyright online
Lack of adequate enforcement of copyright online
Copyright is not adequately enforced online in the Trinidad and Tobago. It is reported that there are concerns about Trinidad and Tobago piracy for optical disc music and video, non-payment of copyright royalties, and online piracy. It is also reported that copyright owners face serious challenges in protecting their copyright. While members of the industry believe there are sufficient laws to prevent piracy and copyright infringement, there is an unwillingness of local creators to engage in convoluted legal battles and due to the non-recognition of the value of their intellectual property. Moreover, it is reported that the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT) has not taken any enforcement action against broadcasters, particularly the state-owned telecommunications networks, which broadcast unlicensed content.
Coverage Horizontal

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

Since March 1994

Pillar Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs)  |  Sub-pillar Participation in the Patent Cooperation Treaty
Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)
Trinidad and Tobago is a party to the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).
Coverage Horizontal

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

Since February 1990, in force since August 1990, last amended in 2007

Pillar Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in sectors relevant to digital trade  |  Sub-pillar Screening of investment and acquisitions
Foreign Investment Act, 1990
As per Art. 5 of the Foreign Investment Act, if the investor cumulatively owns more than 30% of a public company, it is necessary for them to obtain a license. This restrictions extends to shares of companies traded on the Stock Exchange (TTSE).
Coverage Public companies

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

N/A

Pillar Public procurement of ICT goods and online services  |  Sub-pillar Signatory of the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA)
Lack of participation in the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA)
Trinidad and Tobago is not a party to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA), nor does it have observer status.
Coverage Horizontal

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

Reported in 2022

Pillar Public procurement of ICT goods and online services  |  Sub-pillar Other limitations on foreign participation in public procurement
Delayed payments for suppliers and contractors
It is reported that there is a lack of trust in the area of public procurement, largely due to delayed payments for suppliers and contractors.
Coverage Horizontal

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

Since January 2015

Pillar Public procurement of ICT goods and online services  |  Sub-pillar Other limitations on foreign participation in public procurement
Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Property Act, 2015
Art. 28 of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Property Act states that a procuring entity may limit participation in procurement proceedings to promote local industry development and local content. When a procuring entity decides to limit the participation of suppliers or contractors, this must be indicated and justified in the procurement proceedings. However, it is reported that the Act is not fully implemented as there have been some delays with its approval and it is therefore not fully in force. Additionally, there is no criteria to determine when foreign companies will be excluded to promote local industry.
Coverage Horizontal