Applying for an ISBN

The CARICOM Secretariat is the regional ISBN Agency and is responsible for the assignment of the ISBN Registrant Element to eligible publishers with a residence or office in the Caribbean and who are publishing their titles within the Caribbean.

Publishers in The Bahamas, Belize, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago should apply to their national ISBN Agency. Publishers in Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines should apply through the Regional Agency. Click here for more information….

Regional/National Agencies will not assign ISBNs to publishers based outside of the Caribbean Region. All communication will be between the Agency and the Caribbean-based company.


Submitting an application

First time applicants/publishers

Publishers who are requesting participation in the Caribbean Regional ISBN System for the first time are required to complete the Application for ISBN Registrant Element  and Request for ISBN Forms.


Returning applicants/publishers

Registered or returning publishers are only required to complete the Request for ISBN form for each publication to which an ISBN is to be assigned.



Publishers who are requesting participation in the Caribbean Regional ISBN System for the first time are required to pay a one-time, non-refundable registration fee of US$20.00 in addition to the ISBN processing fee. (See fee structure below).


The applicable fees are as follows:


1 ISBN 20.00
10 ISBNs 50.00
100 ISBNs 300.00
1,000 ISBNs 700.00
10,000 ISBNs 1,500.00



Payment should be sent only after the Regional Agency has accepted the application and an invoice provided.



Payment Options

All remittances must be drawn on a U.S. Bank.  You may choose any of the following methods of payment:


  • Cheque made payable to the Caribbean Community Secretariat
  • Bank Draft made payable to the Caribbean Community Secretariat
  • Wire transfer (transaction fees are payable by the publisher)
  • Online Payment (transaction fees are payable by the publisher)



Issuing of ISBNs

The Caribbean Regional ISBN Agency will not provide ISBNs via telephone.  The processing time for ISBN requests is ten (10) working days from receipt of the correctly completed form.  This excludes Saturdays, Sundays and holidays and is from the date the correctly completed form is received in the Agency and, not the day on which it was posted or emailed.  Please note that proof of posting is not proof of delivery and the Agency can accept no responsibility for applications which do not arrive.


Authors/Publishers who have been issued their full block of ISBNs are required to update the excel file once an ISBN has been assigned and submit to the Regional/National Agency, to facilitate updating of our records.

Displaying the ISBN

When an ISBN has been assigned it should always be displayed on the publication concerned. There are particular places on a publication where the ISBN should be displayed:

  • On a printed book an ISBN should be included on the copyright page (also called the title verso page) or at the foot of the title page if there is no room on the copyright page. If there is no bar code, then the ISBN should also be on the back cover or jacket preferably on the lower right.


  • In the case of digital publications (such as compact discs, online publications, etc.), the ISBN must appear on the title display, that is the first display page or on the screen that displays the title or its equivalent (e.g., the initial screen displayed when the content is first accessed and/or on the screen that carries the copyright notice). For more information on using ISBN with digital publications, click here.


  • For eligible educational/instructional films, videos, and transparencies, the ISBN must appear on the credit titles.


  • If the publication is issued in a container that is an integral part of the publication (e.g., a compact disc, cassette, or diskette), the ISBN should be displayed on any labels included with that container. If it is not possible to display the ISBN on the container or its label, then the ISBN should be displayed at the bottom of the back of any permanent packaging for that container (e.g., the box, sleeve, or frame).

For more information contact the national/regional agency or click here ( )


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