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Trade Profile

Foreign Trade in Figures

Ecuador has been a member of the WTO since 1996 and has implemented a four-level tariff system: 5% for most raw materials and capital goods, 10-20% for intermediate goods and 20% for most consumer goods. Finally, a small number of products, including planting seeds, agricultural chemicals and veterinary products are exempt from tax. However, there are still several non-tariff barriers: importers are required to register with the Central Bank in order to obtain an import license and must also have authorisations from different governmental agencies. Ecuador also continues to maintain a pre-shipment inspection (PSI) regime for imports.
A trade agreement with the EU was signed in July 2014. The country has also intensified its trade relations with Russia and Iran. The United States remains the largest trading partner and China the main investor and creditor. The country’s main exports are oil and bananas.


The trade balance is negative and the deficit is worsening, although agricultural exports have been dynamic. This is due largely to the cooling relations with the country's immediate neighbours of the Andean Community of Nations (CAN), which are Ecuador’s main customers for value-added exports. In 2015, exports dropped by 28.6% in value, mainly due to the drop in oil prices. The country is a major exporter of agricultural products (bananas, cocoa, shrimp, fish and flowers). The main destinations of its imports are the United States (44.6% of exports), Peru, Chile, Colombia and Russia.

 
Foreign Trade Indicators 20112012201320142015
Imports of Goods (million USD) 24,43825,47727,14627,72621,518
Exports of Goods (million USD) 22,32223,76524,84825,72418,331
Imports of Services (million USD) 3,0463,0903,4013,4233,118
Exports of Services (million USD) 1,4901,6941,9112,2182,217
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 4174-9
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 6534-0
Trade Balance (million USD) -30350-529-63-1,650
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 6462605744
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 3332312924
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 3130292821

Source: WTO – World Trade Organisation ; World Bank - 2016.

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2015
United States 39.4%
Chile 6.2%
Peru 5.1%
Vietnam 4.3%
Colombia 4.3%
China 3.9%
Russia 3.9%
Germany 3.0%
Spain 2.6%
Netherlands 2.5%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2015
United States 23.8%
China 19.0%
Colombia 7.5%
South Korea 3.9%
Brazil 3.4%
Mexico 3.3%
Peru 3.3%
Japan 3.3%
Panama 3.2%
Germany 2.6%

Source: Comtrade, Last Available Data

 

Main Products

18.3 bn USD of products exported in 2015
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 34.7%
Bananas, incl. plantains, fresh or dried 15.4%
Crustaceans, fit for human consumption, whether in shell or not, live, fresh, chilled, frozen, dried, salted or in brine, incl. crustaceans in shell cooked beforehand by steaming or by boiling in water; flours, meals and pellets of crustaceans, fit for human consumption 12.5%
Prepared or preserved fish; caviar and caviar substitutes prepared from fish eggs 5.0%
Cut flowers and flower buds of a kind suitable for bouquets or for ornamental purposes, fresh, dried, dyed, bleached, impregnated or otherwise prepared 4.5%
Cocoa beans, whole or broken, raw or roasted 3.8%
Gold, incl. gold plated with platinum, unwrought or not further worked than semi-manufactured or in powder form 3.7%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 1.6%
Palm oil and its fractions, whether or not refined (excl. chemically modified) 1.2%
Wood sawn or chipped lengthwise, sliced or barked, whether or not planed, sanded or end-jointed, of a thickness of > 6 mm 0.8%
21.4 bn USD of products imported in 2015
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 9.8%
Oils and other products of the distillation of high temperature coal tar; similar products in which the weight of the aromatic constituents exceeds that of the non-aromatic constituents 7.5%
Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses incl. those in the form of transdermal administration or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 4.0%
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 2.5%
Petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons 1.8%
Oil-cake and other solid residues, whether or not ground or in the form of pellets, resulting from the extraction of soya-bean oil 1.8%
Motor vehicles for the transport of goods, incl. chassis with engine and cab 1.8%
Automatic data processing machines and units thereof; magnetic or optical readers, machines for transcribing data onto data media in coded form and machines for processing such data, n.e.s. 1.4%
Electrical apparatus for line telephony or line telegraphy, incl. line telephone sets with cordless handsets and telecommunication apparatus for carrier-current line systems or for digital line systems; videophones; parts thereof 1.3%
Parts and accessories for tractors, motor vehicles for the transport of ten or more persons, motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, motor vehicles for the transport of goods and special purpose motor vehicles of heading 8701 to 8705, n.e.s. 1.3%

Source: Comtrade, Last Available Data

 
 
 

Main Services

7.0 bn USD of services exported in 2014
Travel
63.50%
Transportation
18.20%
Government services
5.21%
Communications services
4.74%
Cultural and recreational services
4.25%
Financial services
4.10%
10.7 bn USD of services imported in 2014
Transportation
50.14%
Travel
17.85%
Insurance services
10.77%
Cultural and recreational services
7.60%
Financial services
4.03%
Government services
3.91%
Royalties and license fees
3.11%
Other business services
2.31%
Communications services
0.29%

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, Last Available Data

 
 

Trade Compliance

International Conventions
Member of World Trade Organisation
Main International Economic Cooperation
Member of Community of Andean Nations

Member of Organisation of American States

Member of Latin American and Caribbean Economic System

Associate Member of Mercosur

Useful Resources
Corporación Aduanera Ecuatoriana (only in Spanish)
National Organisation of Intellectual Property
The Ecuadorian Institute of Intellectual Property.
 
 
 

 

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Last Updates: June 2017