Is Central America Interested in an Agreement with the European Union?

To date the Trade Pillar Committee has not yet been formed with representatives of each of the Central American countries, despite the entry into force of the Association Agreement on January 1st 2014.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Central America has not managed to harmonize and standardize regional interests in order to make use of the Agreement with the European Union. Nearly six months after its entry into force, they have not institutionalized mechanisms to comply with even short term commitments related to regional trade, such as the harmonization of trade regulations, customs administration and trade policy. This failure has consequences.

"Romulo Caballeros, international consultant to the European Commission, said that at this point in time they should have formed the Trade Pillar Committee, whose importance is to ensure that trade facilitation mechanisms are established between regions ..." The first task that should have been done was to draft and adopt regulations ... which would be the basis for actions to resolve problems and disputes between countries that trade under the AA ... That had to be done within sixty days (after the entry into force of the Trade Pillar of the AA) but it has not been done and we are already at ninety days ... The disinterest of governments in the region is such that they have not even appointed their representatives to it. ""

"According, the consultant also stated that:" One of the immediate issues ... is to review the new taxes created in Nicaragua and El Salvador for the service for scanned inspection of goods passing through customs. These taxes are considered to violate trade agreements. Nicaragua in particular runs the risk of being suspended from the AA because it has created a tax on the total value of the goods to be scanned in their customs offices.'"

More on this topic

Tax Rebate Agreement with EU  

October 2014

The Council of Ministers of Economic Integration of Central America has until November to ratify the tax refund mechanisms governing the import of European goods.

The entire Central American region must have the same system of tax refunds on Import Customs Duties (DAI) from August 1, 2015, as established by the Association Agreement (AA) between Central America and the European Union (EU).

El Salvador Ratifies Agreement with European Union

July 2013

The Association Agreement with the EU was approved with no negative votes by the Salvadoran Legislative Assembly.

From a press release from the Legislative Assembly of El Salvador:

The Legislative Assembly of El Salvador in plenary session, affirmed on Thursday with 82 votes, the Association Agreement between Central America and the European Union (AA), which will enter into force on August 1.

Guatemala: Deadline Reached for Industrial Property Law

May 2013

Congress has until today to approve the amendments to the Industrial Property Act, necessary for the entry into force of the Association Agreement with the EU.

According to Stella Zervoudaki, European ambassador in Guatemala, the adoption of this law requires a 60-day period, plus two for the publication period, so that any interested party can submit their opposition, therefore even if Guatemala ratifies the agreement, scheduled for July 15, the country can not make use of the Association Agreement.

Europe Does Not Require Customs Interconnection

July 2011

The Association Agreement between the region and the EU will start without having completed the process of a customs union, and without having created a common tariff.

This is what officials declared at the European Union Trade Commission, "there are marked differences between the Central American nations that can not be dissolved by sheer force, because they have come about by historic events."

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