On March 1st, 2013, the European Union concluded a multilateral trade agreement with the countries of the Andean Community, but including, on this occasion, only Colombia and Peru. This agreement has been provisionally applicable from 1st August 2013.
On November 11th, 2016, Ecuador signed the Accession Protocol to join the multilateral trade agreement.
Following the ratification of the agreement by the Ecuadorian government, Ecuador's accession to the trade agreement with the EU entered into force on January 1st, 2017.
Under the agreement, tariffs on all industrial and fishery products should be reciprocally eliminated. On the other hand, through this agreement, access to the agricultural product market should be expanded and access to public procurement and services should be improved. Finally, the multilateral trade agreement aims to reduce the existing technical barriers to trade between EU Member States and the Andean countries that are part of the agreement.
For the implementation of the agreement, a gradual reduction of tariffs is expected over a period of 17 years. With regard to agricultural products, Ecuador is likely to increase its exports to the EU, in particular, fishery products, cut flowers, coffee, cocoa, fruit and nuts. However, bananas, a sensitive issue during negotiations, will benefit from a preferential tariff accompanied by a review mechanism, so that the preferential tariff can be suspended if an annual export quota is reached. This mechanism for revising the preferential rate of bananas also applies to Colombia and Peru.
As regards the EU Member States, in addition to better access to agricultural products on the Ecuadorian market, there is expected an increase in exports to Ecuado of industrial products, particularly, cars and machinery.
According to the agreement, Bolivia, the fourth member country of the Andean Community, will also be able to apply for accession to the multilateral trade agreement, which will make this EU trade agreement a global agreement with the Andean Community.