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EC-Chile Association Agreement

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EC-Chile Association Agreement

This Agreement establishes a political and economic association covering trade, financial, scientific, technical, social and cultural matters and cooperation. It provides for closer political dialogue, strengthened cooperation, greater participation in framework programmes and development and diversification of bilateral trade relations.


Agreement establishing an association between the European Community and its Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Chile, of the other part - Final act [See amending acts].

Council Decision 2002/979/EC of 18 November 2002 on the signature and provisional application of certain provisions of an Agreement establishing an association between the Community and its Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Chile, of the other part.


This Agreement establishing a political and economic association covers a wide range of areas. It was signed on 18 November 2002 but most of its provisions came into force provisionally on 1 February 2003 pending the entry into force of the entire Agreement. Decision 2002/979/EC applies on a provisional basis from 1 February 2003 Articles 3 to 11, Article 18, Articles 24 to 27, Articles 48 to 54, Article 55(a), (b), (f), (h), (i), Articles 56 to 93, Articles 136 to 162 and Articles 172 to 206. These Articles govern the institutional framework, trade and cooperation.

An Association Council is set up to supervise implementation of the Agreement and is assisted by an Association Committee. An Association Parliamentary Committee is also set up to promote dialogue between members of the European Parliament and members of the Chilean National Congress. A Joint Consultative Committee assists the Association Council in promoting dialogue and cooperation in the economic and social fields. Civil society is also to play a greater role.

The Agreement's three pillars are political dialogue, cooperation and trade.


The aim of this part of the Agreement is to promote and defend democratic values. Regular meetings will be held at various levels. The Parties will also coordinate their positions and undertake joint initiatives in international fora with a view to cooperating on foreign and security policy. Cooperation against terrorism will also form part of this dialogue.


The cooperation objectives are to strengthen institutional capacity, promote social development, stimulate productive synergies and increase cooperation.

Economic cooperation

Economic cooperation covers trade-related areas such as cooperation on standards, technical regulations, conformity assessment procedures, customs cooperation, cooperation in the agricultural and rural sectors, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, fisheries and statistics.

Economic cooperation is also to be developed in other areas:

  • industrial cooperation: cooperation to be developed through contacts, increased dialogue, industrial cooperation projects and strengthened innovation, diversification and product quality;
  • cooperation on small and medium-sized enterprises to promote their development;
  • cooperation in services, the environment, energy, transport, tourism and mining;
  • investment promotion;
  • consumer protection and data protection;
  • macroeconomic dialogue;
  • intellectual property rights;
  • public procurement, where technical assistance will be provided.

Science, technology and information society

Cooperation in this area will focus on dialogue, information exchange, trade promotion, training, joint projects and a stepping-up of activities in this area.

Culture, education and audiovisual

The objectives of cooperation on education and training are to provide sustained support at all levels of education and provide access to education for vulnerable social groups such as the disabled or the extremely poor. Training programmes are required in the audiovisual sector and exchange of information will play a key role in cultural cooperation. Joint activities on press, cinema and television and youth exchanges will be encouraged.

Administration and interinstitutional cooperation

The aim is modernisation and decentralisation of public administration through technical assistance, exchanges of information, transfer of know-how, studies and training. These measures are also essential to promote closer cooperation between institutions.

Social cooperation

The objectives of social cooperation are to encourage the participation of social partners and measures to prevent discrimination of either Party's nationals who are residing legally in the territory of the other. Priority will be given to measures to encourage human development, promoting the role of women, modernising labour relations, developing an efficient health service and promoting job creation. Gender-related cooperation is designed to provide women with access to all the resources they need to be able to exercise their fundamental rights.

Other areas of cooperation

Both Parties agree to readmit any of their nationals illegally present on a territory of the other upon request by the latter and without further formalities. To this end the Parties agree to conclude, upon request, an Agreement between each other regulating the specific readmission obligations.

Measures to combat drugs and organised crime are other areas of cooperation. The aim is to prevent and reduce the illicit production, trade in and consumption of drugs and the laundering of profits from drug trafficking and to combat related organised crime.

General provisions

This part also came into force in February 2003. It calls for a greater role to be played by civil society in cooperation. Its aim is to promote regional cooperation and regional integration to develop active and reciprocal cooperation between the Parties and Mercosur. International cooperation and cooperation with other Latin American and Caribbean countries is also to be strengthened.


The provisions governing trade and trade-related matters are set out in Part IV of the Agreement. Their objectives are:

  • progressive and reciprocal liberalisation of trade in goods;
  • facilitation of trade in goods;
  • reciprocal liberalisation of trade in services;
  • improvement of the investment environment;
  • liberalisation of current payments and capital movements;
  • effective and reciprocal opening-up of government procurement markets;
  • protection of intellectual property rights;
  • establishment of an effective cooperation mechanism in the field of competition;
  • establishment of an effective dispute settlement mechanism.

Free movement of goods

The Agreement lays down the bases for progressive liberalisation of trade in goods. Customs duties are to be eliminated on imports of products originating in one Party and exported to the other Party. The Agreement lays down Tariff Elimination Schedules for products originating in either Party. This progressive and reciprocal liberalisation for industrial products, fish and fisheries products and agricultural and processed agricultural products is to be undertaken over a maximum period of ten years.

By the end of the transitional period, 97.1 % of bilateral trade will have been liberalised, and by sector 100 % of industrial goods, 80.9 % of agricultural goods and 90.8 % of fishery products.

For agricultural products there is an emergency clause which covers cases where imports might disturb the market in like products in the importing country. There is also an evolution clause for all these products under which both Parties may agree by mutual consent on other conditions to further liberalise trade.

Non-tariff barriers are also covered by the Agreement which prohibits quantitative restrictions and different internal taxes on imported products. It also provides for anti-dumping and countervailing measures in accordance with the relevant Agreements of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Exchanges of information, application of rules, simplification and cooperation are also necessary to reduce non-tariff barriers in the customs field. A Special Committee on Customs Cooperation and Rules of Origin will be set up to monitor implementation, to provide a forum for consultation and develop cooperation.

Administrative cooperation is also essential to prevent irregularities and fraud in preferential treatment. There must also be closer bilateral cooperation to ensure more effective use of standards, technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures to facilitate access to respective markets. A Committee has been set up to oversee this process.

Sanitary and phytosanitary measures are also included in the Agreement. The objective is to protect health. An Agreement in this area is attached as Annex IV and a special committee is set up. The Agreement will facilitate trade in animals and animal and plant products whilst safeguarding public, animal and plant health. There will also be cooperation on the development of standards for animal welfare.

The Agreements attached (Annexes V and VI) include special provisions on wine and spirits. The Agreement guarantees reciprocal protection of protected designations and, in the case of wine, reciprocally accepted wine-making practices.

Exceptions to the free movement of goods include three clauses:

  • a general exception clause to protect public morals, health, human life and national treasures, to secure compliance with laws, trade in gold or silver, conservation of exhaustible natural resources and the products of prison labour;
  • a safeguard clause enabling measures already provided by the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the WTO to be applied;
  • a shortage clause to cover any shortfalls.

Trade in services and establishment

Unlike the part on goods, this part of the Agreement has not yet entered into force. Its aim is for the Parties to liberalise their reciprocal trade in services in accordance with the Agreement and Annex V of the GATS, with the exception of audiovisual services, air transport and maritime cabotage. There are special provisions on financial services (see below).

The Agreement states that any measures not adopted or mandatory by a Party are designed as "limitations". The schedule of specific commitments which form the lowest common denominator is contained in Annex VII. Under no circumstances may treatment be less favourable than that which either Party accords to its own like services (national treatment). Objectivity and transparency are required in drawing up national rules and both Parties undertake to respond to mutual recognition measures within a reasonable period of time.

The chapter on services contains specifications for international maritime transport and telecommunications services.

Annex VII sets out specific commitments concerning financial services. The Parties must accord each other national treatment and any measures which are not adopted shall also be considered to be limitations. Regulation in this sector must be effective and transparent. All interested parties must be informed as far as possible of any general measures of application. Prudential carve-out may be considered to protect certain categories of persons, to maintain safety or ensure the integrity and stability of the financial system. The Parties are required to undertake reciprocal consultation and a Special Committee will oversee the implementation of these provisions.

The provisions regarding establishment apply to all sectors with the exception of all service sectors, including the financial services sector. National treatment and the right of each Party to regulate are safeguarded. The Parties affirm their willingness to review the legal framework for investment and investment flows with a view to their progressive liberalisation.

The title on trade in services and establishment includes the exceptions set out in the general exception clause under the Title on free movement of goods with the exception of the provisions applying to gold or silver.

Government procurement

The Parties will ensure the effective and reciprocal opening of their government procurement markets. The Agreement reviews the definitions, valuation rules for government procurement, tendering procedures, qualification of suppliers, publication of notices, time limits, technical specifications, awarding of contracts and all measures necessary to contribute to the opening up of government procurement. National treatment, non-discrimination and transparency must also be applied in this sector. Offsets and national preferences are prohibited. The exceptions applying to establishment are included in this Title which also covers protection of goods and services of disabled persons, of philanthropic institutions or of prison labour.

Current payments, intellectual property, competition and dispute settlement

The trade section of this Agreement also covers provisions to:

  • liberalise current payments and capital movements;
  • accord and ensure adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights;
  • prevent anti-competitive conduct diminishing or cancelling out the benefits of trade liberalisation;
  • prevent and settle disputes between the Parties concerning the application of this part of the Agreement.

The provisions governing competition and dispute settlement entered into force on 1 February 2003. The provisions on current payments and intellectual property have not yet come into effect.

Transparency is another key element of the Agreement. The Parties undertake to cooperate through contact points and exchange of information. The Association Committee has been set up to oversee the implementation of the Agreement's trade provisions.

Finally, there are some exceptions in the area of trade. These include national security, balance of payments difficulties and taxation.



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

EC-Chile Association Agreement

Partially entered into force on 1/2/2003


Official Journal L 352 of 30.12.2002

Decision 2002/979/EC



Official Journal L 352 of 30.12.2002

Amending act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Decision 2005/106/EC



OJ L 38 of 10.2.2005



Agreement for scientific and technological cooperation between the European Community and the Republic of Chile [Official Journal L 199 of 7.8.2003] The Agreement establishes a legal framework for promoting research and technological development between the two parties in areas of common interest. The Agreement follows up Council Decision 2003/589/EC of 21 July 2003.

Agreement between the European Community and the Republic of Chile on precursors and chemical substances frequently used in the illicit manufacture of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances [Official Journal L 336 of 11.12.1998] This draft Agreement establishes assistance and cooperation machinery between Chile and the EC to prevent the diversion of chemical substances frequently used in the illicit manufacture of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances. It contains provisions on mutual administrative assistance to ensure that the legislation controlling trade in such substances is correctly applied and on information exchange, technical and scientific cooperation and confidentiality. The Agreement follows up the Council decision of 3 November 1998.

See also

More information on EC-Chile relations can be found on the "Chile" page of the European External Action Service website.

Last updated: 22.03.2005