FAQs under Engineering Services

May European Engineering Service providers open a business here in Barbados under the EPA?


There is no provision under the EPA allowing EU companies to invest in or establish businesses in Barbados in the Engineering Services sector.  However, when such an investment does take place, Barbados has committed to ensuring that the EU service providers are not discriminated against in favour of domestic suppliers.  Barbados also has not committed to allowing EU nationals to come into Barbados to provide their services in this sector.  Key personnel and graduate trainees are permitted entry only when these skills are not available locally.

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What about the case of an Engineering Services Firm or Professional that wants to provide services FROM BARBADOS to a client in the EU? Does the EPA allow that?


The EPA does allow Barbadian service providers in the Engineering Services field to provide services from their home here in Barbados to a European-based client.  A few countries, however, do impose some conditions.  They are:

Austria & Slovenia:  There is no commitment to provide market access in any sub-sector except the pure planning services sub-sector.

Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta, & Portugal: There is no commitment to permit the supply of these services through this form of supply.

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I am an Independent Engineering Services professional and I want to enter into a contract in a member country of the EU. I just want to service my contract. Under the EPA, am I allowed to travel there to work on the contract if I sign?

As an independent Engineering Services professional, you are free to enter into a contract with a firm in the EU, and you may also travel there to work on the contract.  But, there are some general conditions which apply to all countries, and other conditions imposed by certain countries.  The general conditions:

  • The person applying for temporary entry must be a self-employed person established in a business in Barbados, and their service contract cannot be for more than 12 months.
  • You must have at least six (6) years experience in the Engineering Service Sector.
  • As an independent Engineering Services professional, you must have a university degree or equivalent qualification along with any professional qualifications that may be legally required.
  • You will be allowed to enter for a cumulative period of not more than six (6) months in any 12-month period (or the length of the contract, whichever is less) – or 25 weeks in Luxembourg.
  • You will only be permitted to work on the activity for which you have been contracted and no other business activities.

The specific country conditions on independent Engineering Services Professionals are as follows:

Spain, Italy & Poland:  An economic needs test will be applied.

Finland:  The Barbadian must demonstrate that (s)he possesses special knowledge relevant to the service being provided.

Belgium: An economic needs test will be applied. 

Denmark: An economic needs test will be applied. 

Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, Finland, Hungary, Lithuania, Romania & Slovakia: An economic needs test will be applied. 

Austria: There is a commitment to permit this type of movement for planning services only and in these cases an economic needs test will be applied.

Hungary: Residency is required.

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Provided that our Engineering Service company here in Barbados has been given permission to invest in or establish a business in one of the countries of the EU, what are the rules under the EPA for personnel wishing to work overseas?


Generally, key personnel (those persons described under the EPA as managers and specialists) are allowed to remain in EU countries for up to three years.  Those senior staff members that the Barbadian firm will need to establish its commercial presence in the EU will be allowed to work for 90 days during any 12-month period.  And if you are planning on sending graduate trainees to the EU, they may remain for one year.  Remember that these persons are subject to the normal visa and immigration requirements of the host country.

There are a few countries that place specific conditions on Barbadian Engineering Services staff.  These are:

Estonia - At least one responsible person (project manager or consultant) must be an Estonian resident.

Bulgaria – All Barbadian Engineering Services Specialists wishing to work in Bulgaria must have at least two years experience in the construction field.

Greece, Hungary and Slovakia – all require that Engineering Service suppliers must have residency.

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Are there requirements for licensing and qualifications in the EU for Barbadian Engineering Service providers wishing to provide services there?


Yes, there are.

The first requirement to provide services in an EU country is that the qualifications or business license has to be recongised in the country in which the service is provided.  The Economic Partnership Agreement contains a process for the private sector to negotiate the terms for mutual recognition of qualifications and licensing requirements with their European counterparts. Once these negotiations have been finalised, the professional bodies will make recommendations to the CARIFORUM-EC Trade and Development Committee, which will finalise the mutual recognition agreements.

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What are the conditions for Barbadian Engineering Services firms wishing to enter EU countries?


Those conditions vary from country to country in the EU.  For example, in Bulgaria, if a Barbadian Engineering Services firm’s project is deemed to have national or regional significance, the investors in the project must act as sub-contractors in partnership with local Bulgarian investors.

In other countries, there are limitations on the activities of Barbadian Engineering Service providers within the country.  The following chart lists the conditions by country:


Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Spain, Greece, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovak Republic, and Slovenia:  There are limitations imposed on the acquisition of land and real estate.

Estonia, Finland, Italy, Romania and Sweden: There are limitations requiring local citizenship or residency of senior management or Board of Directors.

Poland: There are limitations on the type of business permitted.

Bulgaria, France, Finland and Italy: There are limitations on the type of investment e.g. a maximum percentage for foreign shareholding or voting rights.

EC: Limitations on the treatment extended to branches and agencies.


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