As soon as the agreement enters into force, most industrial products, including fish and other seafood, will have duty-free access to the respective markets of efTA states. For products imported into Colombia, most tariffs will be abolished after transitional periods of up to nine years. This asymmetric treatment reflects the differences in economic development of the contracting parties. The trade provisions are contained in Chapter 2 and refer to WTO law. For EFTA-Colombia trade statistics, see the EFTA trade statistics tool The U.S. Trade Agreement (TPA) came into force on May 15, 2012. The TPA is a comprehensive free trade agreement that eliminates tariffs and removes barriers to U.S. services, including financial services. It also includes important disciplines in the areas of customs management and trade facilitation, technical barriers to trade, public procurement, investment, telecommunications, e-commerce, intellectual property rights, labour protection and the environment. The International Trade Commission (ITC) estimates that tariff reductions in the TPA, if fully implemented, will increase exports of U.S.
products alone by more than $1.1 billion and support thousands of additional U.S. jobs. The ITC also predicted that the TPA would increase U.S. GDP by $2.5 billion if fully implemented. Environmental protection obligations: Both sides have also committed to effectively enforcing their national environmental legislation and to enact, maintain and implement laws, regulations and other measures to meet their obligations under the multilateral environmental agreements covered. All environmental chapter obligations are subject to the same dispute resolution procedures and enforcement mechanisms as the commercial obligations of the APA. Free-form certification of Colombian and U.S. importers can be used as an alternative to the original certification model when they claim that their products comply with Colombian TPA requirements.
The Investment Chapter (Chapter 5) aims to improve the legal environment for EFTA and Colombia companies investing in the other country`s markets, including by granting non-discriminatory establishment and operating rights (commercial presence) in sectors not covered by the trade in services. Chapter 4 on Trade in Services closely follows the approach of the WTO`s General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). It covers the four service providers within the meaning of the GATS and is aimed at all service sectors. The chapter on trade in services deals with general disciplines, while the annexes contain more specific provisions for certain sectors (financial services, Appendix XVI; telecommunications services, Appendix XVII).