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«The Republic of Colombia (hereinafter referred to as “Colombia”) on one part, and the Republic of Iceland, the Principality of Liechtenstein, the ...»

-- [ Page 1 ] --

FREE TRADE AGREEMENT

BETWEEN

THE REPUBLIC OF COLOMBIA

AND

THE EFTA STATES

PREAMBLE

The Republic of Colombia (hereinafter referred to as “Colombia”) on one part, and the

Republic of Iceland, the Principality of Liechtenstein, the Kingdom of Norway and the Swiss Confederation (hereinafter referred to as "the EFTA States”) on the other part,

each individual State referred to as a “Party” or collectively as the “Parties”:

RESOLVED to strengthen the special bonds of friendship and co-operation between them and desirous, by way of the removal of obstacles to trade, to contribute to the harmonious development and expansion of world trade and provide a catalyst for broader international co-operation, in particular between Europe and South America;

CONSIDERING the important links existing between Colombia and the EFTA States, in particular the Joint Declaration on Co-operation signed in Bern on 17 May 2006 and wishing to strengthen these links through the creation of a free trade area, thus establishing close and lasting relations;

REAFFIRMING their commitment to democracy, the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with their obligations under international law, including the principles set out in the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;

ACKNOWLEDGING the relationship between good corporate and public sector governance and sound economic development, and affirming their support to the principles of corporate governance in the UN Global Compact, as well as their intent to promote transparency and prevent and combat corruption;

BUILDING on their respective rights and obligations under the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization (hereinafter referred to as “the WTO Agreement”) and the other agreements negotiated thereunder and other multilateral and bilateral instruments of co-operation;

REAFFIRMING their commitment to economic and social development and the respect for the fundamental rights of workers, including the principles set out in the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Conventions to which the Parties are party;

AIMING to create new employment opportunities, improve health and living standards and to ensure a large and steadily growing volume of real income in their respective territories through the expansion of trade and investment flows, thereby promoting broad-based economic development in order to reduce poverty;

WILLING to preserve their ability to safeguard the public welfare;

III INTENDING to enhance the competitiveness of their firms in global markets;

DETERMINED to create an expanded and secure market for goods and services in their territories and to ensure a predictable legal framework and environment for trade, business and investment by establishing clear and mutually advantageous rules;

RECOGNISING that the gains from trade liberalisation should not be offset by anticompetitive practices;

RESOLVED to foster creativity and innovation by protecting intellectual property rights while maintaining a balance between the rights of the holders and the interests of the public in general, particularly in education, research, public health and access to information;

DETERMINED to implement this Agreement in a manner consistent with environmental protection and conservation, promote sustainable development, and strengthen their co-operation on environmental matters;

HAVE AGREED, in pursuit of the above, to conclude the following Free Trade

Agreement (hereinafter referred to as “this Agreement”):

–  –  –

The Parties to this Agreement, consistent with Article XXIV of the WTO General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 (hereinafter referred to as “the GATT 1994”) and Article V of the WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services (hereinafter referred to as “the GATS”), hereby establish a free trade area by means of this Agreement and the complementary Agreements on Agriculture, concurrently concluded between Colombia and each individual EFTA State.

–  –  –

(c) to substantially increase investment opportunities in the free trade area;

(d) to achieve further liberalisation on a mutual basis of the government procurement markets of the Parties;

(e) to promote competition in their economies, particularly as it relates to economic relations between the Parties;

–  –  –

(g) to contribute, by the removal of barriers to trade and investment, to the harmonious development and expansion of world trade; and,

–  –  –

1. This Agreement shall, unless otherwise specified therein, apply to the territories of the Parties, in accordance with their domestic law and international law.

2. This Agreement shall not apply to the territory of Svalbard, with the exception of trade in goods.

–  –  –

The Parties confirm their rights and obligations under the WTO Agreement and the other agreements negotiated thereunder to which they are a party and any other international agreement to which they are a party.





–  –  –

1. The provisions of this Agreement apply to the trade and economic relations between, on the one side, each individual EFTA State and, on the other side Colombia, but not to trade relations between individual EFTA States, unless otherwise provided for in this Agreement.

2. As a result of the customs union established by the Treaty of 29 March 1923 between Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein, Switzerland shall represent the Principality of Liechtenstein in matters covered thereby.

–  –  –

Each Party shall ensure within its territory the observance of all obligations and commitments under this Agreement by its respective central, regional and local governments and authorities, and by non-governmental bodies in the exercise of governmental powers delegated to them by central, regional and local governments or authorities.

–  –  –

1. This Agreement shall not restrict a Party’s fiscal sovereignty to adopt taxation

measures, except for the disciplines referred to hereafter:

–  –  –

(c) Article 5.3 (National Treatment) to the extent relevant for taxation according to Article 5.8 (Exceptions).

2. Notwithstanding paragraph 1, this Agreement shall not affect the rights and obligations of a Party under any tax convention. In the event of any inconsistency between this Agreement and such convention, the latter shall prevail to the extent of the inconsistency.

–  –  –

The Parties recognise the growing role of electronic commerce for trade between them. With a view to supporting provisions of this Agreement related to trade in goods and services the Parties undertake to intensify their co-operation on electronic commerce for their mutual benefit. For that purpose the Parties have established the framework contained in Annex I (Electronic Commerce).

–  –  –

(b) “juridical person” means any legal entity duly constituted or otherwise organised under applicable law, whether for profit or otherwise, and whether privately-owned or governmentally-owned, including any

–  –  –

(c) “measure” means any measure by a Party whether in the form of a law, regulation, rule, procedure, requirement, provision, administrative action, or in any other form;

(d) “person” means a natural person or a juridical person.

–  –  –

For the purposes of this Agreement, unless otherwise specified:

(a) “customs authority” means the authority that according to the legislation of a Party is responsible for the administration of its customs legislation;

(b) “customs duties on imports” means any duty or a charge of any kind imposed on, or in connection with, the importation of goods, including

any form of surtax or surcharge, except:

–  –  –

(c) “customs legislation” means any legal or regulatory provision adopted by a Party, governing the import, export, or transit of goods and their placing under any customs procedure, including measures of prohibition, restriction and control.

–  –  –

This Chapter applies to the following products traded between the Parties:

(a) products falling within Chapters 25 to 97 of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (hereinafter referred to as “the HS”), excluding the products listed in Annex II (Excluded Products);

–  –  –

Rules of Origin and Mutual Administrative Assistance in Customs Matters

1. The provisions on rules of origin and customs procedures are set out in Annex V (Rules of Origin and Mutual Administrative Co-operation in Customs Matters).

2. The provisions on mutual administrative assistance in customs matters are set out in Annex VI (Mutual Administrative Assistance in Customs Matters).

–  –  –

(b) promote multilateral co-operation among them in order to enhance their participation in the development and implementation of international conventions and recommendations on trade facilitation; and

–  –  –

1. A Sub-Committee on Rules of Origin, Customs Procedures and Trade Facilitation is hereby established.

2. The functions of the Sub-Committee shall be to exchange information, review developments, prepare technical amendments relating to Annexes II (Excluded X Products), III (Processed Agricultural Products), IV (Fish and Other Marine Products), V (Rules of Origin and Mutual Administrative Co-operation in Customs Matters), VI (Mutual Administrative Assistance in Customs Matters), VII (Trade Facilitation) and VIII (Dismantling of Import Duties for Industrial Products), and assist the Joint Committee.

3. The Sub-Committee shall be chaired alternatively by a representative of Colombia or an EFTA State for an agreed period of time. The chair shall be elected at the first meeting of the Sub-Committee. The Sub-Committee shall act by consensus.

4. The Sub-Committee shall report to the Joint Committee. The Sub-Committee may make recommendations to the Joint Committee on matters related to its functions.

5. The Sub-Committee shall meet as often as required. It may be convened by the Joint Committee, by the chair of the Sub-Committee on his or her own initiative, or upon request of any Party. The venue shall alternate between Colombia and an EFTA State.

6. A provisional agenda for each meeting shall be prepared by the chair in consultation with the Parties, and forwarded to them, as a general rule, not later than two weeks before the meeting.

–  –  –

1. Upon entry into force of this Agreement, Colombia shall dismantle its customs duties on imports of products originating in EFTA States, as provided in Annexes III (Processed Agricultural Products), IV (Fish and Other Marine Products) and VIII (Dismantling of Import Duties for Industrial Products).

2. Upon entry into force of this Agreement, the EFTA States shall eliminate all customs duties on imports of products originating in Colombia, unless otherwise provided for in Annexes III (Processed Agricultural Products) and IV (Fish and Other Marine Products).

3. At the request of a Party, consultations shall be held to consider accelerating the elimination of the customs duties set out in the respective Annexes. An agreement between the Parties to accelerate the elimination of a customs duty shall supersede any duty rate or dismantling category set out in Annexes III (Processed Agricultural Products), IV (Fish and Other Marine Products) and VIII (Dismantling of Import Duties for Industrial Products), if approved by the Parties in accordance with their internal legal requirements.

4. No new customs duties or other charges in relation to the importation of originating products to a Party shall be introduced nor shall those already applied be increased, except as provided for in this Agreement.

–  –  –

1. For each product the base rate of customs duty, to which the successive reductions set out in Annexes III (Processed Agricultural Products), IV (Fish and Other Marine Products) and VIII (Dismantling of Import Duties for Industrial Products) are to be applied, shall be the most-favoured nation rate of duty applied on 1 April 2007.

2. If at any moment after the date of entry into force of this Agreement a Party reduces its applied most favored nation customs duty, that customs duty shall apply only if it is lower than the customs duty calculated in accordance with the relevant Annexes.

–  –  –

1. The Parties shall, upon entry into force of this Agreement, eliminate all customs duties and other charges, including surcharges and other forms of contributions, in relation to the exportation of goods to a Party, except as provided for in Annex IX (Export Duties).

2. No new customs duties or other charges in relation to the exportation of goods to a Party shall be introduced nor shall those already applied be increased.

–  –  –

1. No prohibitions or restrictions other than duties, taxes or other charges, whether made effective through quotas, import or export licenses or other measures, shall be

–  –  –

2. The Parties understand that paragraph 1 prohibits a Party from adopting or

maintaining:



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