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EU-Colombia Interim Trade Agreement to take effect soon
Jul '13
The Interim Trade Agreement between Colombia and the 28-member EU would be implemented from August 1, 2013, according to Colombian Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism.
The implementation of the provisional free trade agreement (FTA) with the EU demonstrates the trust that Colombia has won in Europe, Sergio Diaz-Granados, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, said.
The EU is currently the second largest trading partner, export market and source of investment in Colombia, next only to the US.
The FTA with the EU is the fourth trade agreement that Colombia has signed with developed countries. Colombia already has a FTA with Canada, Switzerland and the US.
The Colombian Government is prepared to give full guarantee to foreign investment entering into the country from the 28 EU member states, Mr. Diaz-Granados said.
The textiles and the apparel sector, along with some other sectors like the pharmaceutical and personal care, would benefit from the agreement with the EU, the Minister said.
Once the FTA is set in motion, the duty on Colombian textile and garment exports to the EU would be either cut or reduced to zero from the current up to 10 percent duty.
In terms of Rules of Origin (RoO), the FTA would allow Colombia to take advantage of tariff preferences in a better way. The import of fibres from third countries for making textiles would be allowed, but yarn must be made in either Colombia or the EU.
Similarly, for ‘knit to shape’ items like stockings, girdles and innerwear, Colombia can use both nylon and elastomer imported from third countries for making products meant for export to the EU under FTA provisions. 
From January to May 2013, Colombia’s overall exports to the EU amounted to US$ 3.345 billion, up 13.8 percent year-on-year, while the country imported US$ 3.279 billion worth of goods from the EU.

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