June 05, 2021
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Types of free trade agreements

Photo by Lucas George Wendt on Unsplash

There are four types of free trade agreements (FTAs): first and second generation agreements, Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas, and Economic Partnership Agreements.

First generation agreements

First generation agreements focus on tariff elimination, mostly concluded before the European Commission’s 2006 “Global Europe” Communication:

  • Agreements with Norway, Switzerland, eight Mediterranean countries, Mexico and Chile;
  • Customs Union with Turkey;
  • Stabilisation and Association Agreements with five Western Balkan countries containing additional provisions to prepare for their progressive integration into the EU market.

Second generation agreements 

Second generation agreements extend to new areas, including on competition, protecting intellectual property rights, customs cooperation, commitments on services and establishment and sustainable development:

  • Agreements with South Korea, Colombia, Peru and Ecuador, Central America and Canada.

Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas (DCFTAs)

Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas (DCFTAs), concentrate on the tightening of economic links between the EU and its neighbours by bringing their regulatory framework closer to EU law, notably in trade-related areas:

  • Agreements with Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova.

Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs)

Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with African, Caribbean and Pacific regions focus on the development needs of these countries.

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Source: 2019 Annual report on the implementation of EU trade agreements by European Commission

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