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Wednesday 11 April 2012

Patricia Covarrubia

Trade Agreement between Chile and Nicaragua is almost there

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The Chilean 'Camara de Diputados' (House of Commons) approved the draft agreement favouring the bilateral Protocol between Chile and Nicaragua which forms part of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Chile and Central America (signed on 22 February 2011).

Back in 2002 the FTA between Chile and Central America (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua) came into force. Yet, the agreement established a mechanism by which it will come gradually into force and be divided in two matters:
1.- policy area common to all countries; and
2.- set of provisions to be negotiated bilaterally between each signatory countries.

This latter matter means that Chile (and the other countries) needs to have a separate bilateral Protocol with each of the other Central American countries. In this regards, the bilateral Protocol between Chile and Nicaragua is the one that is taken place at this moment and the information notes that the Protocol is divided into 5 sections and its respective annexes -- as follows:
1.- the tariff reduction program;
2.- restrictions on programs to support exports,
3.- the customs user fees,
4.- the understanding of geographical indications,
5.- the rules specific source applicable only between Chile and Nicaragua and border trade in services.

It is reported that in 2010 Chile trade with Nicaragua reached U.S. $ 21 million. The bilateral Protocol has a broad coverage, in which, within a maximum period of 15 years in Nicaragua and 10 years in Chile, almost all products will have duty free access to the markets of the parties.

With respect to geographical indications GI), the Protocol states that Nicaragua recognizes Chilean Pisco spirit as a GI within three years from the date of entry into force of the Treaty and this Protocol.[good news? well actually it is for the pisco industry in Chile but not so much for the pisco industry in Peru! But: what about many other GI especially in the wine industry? Moreover, Chile is starting to built a good and strong portfolio using the GI system for other foodstuff such as ‘Limon de Pica’ (lime) and ‘Langosta de Juan fernandez’ (lobster) and moreover with pending applications for ‘Plum D’Agne’, ‘Atun de la Isla de Pascua’ (tuna) and ‘Cordero de Juan Fernandez’ (lamb) and thus, it should be more highlighting into this section].

The draft was sent to the Senate, for the second constitutional stage.

Patricia Covarrubia

Patricia Covarrubia


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11 April 2012 at 15:52 delete

Apologies regarding the pending application for ‘Plum D’Agne’ in Chile. The sentence implies that it is a Chilean GI which in fact it is an application made by France (back in May 2010) but opposed by the Association of Processors and Exporters of Chile Prunes (Apecs).