KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) _ Cuba and Jamaica have signed an agreement designed to improve shipping between the two Caribbean countries.

Foreign Minister Seymour Mullings said the agreement sets out procedures for payment of ports fees, tax appeals and transfer of funds between the countries. It also creates a Maritime Joint Commission to work out disagreements.

``This agreement will prove beneficial to Jamaican exporters as it seeks to ensure their unimpeded access to Cuban ports and the constancy and predictability of the user charges levied against Jamaican ships,'' Mullings said Wednesday.

Negotiations on the deal began in November and ended in April, he said.