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Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement

Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement

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Development > South Africa

Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA)

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 2004/441/EC of 26 April 2004 concerning the conclusion of the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement between the European Community and its Member States, on the one part, and the Republic of South Africa, on the other part [See amending acts].

Summary

The European Union (EU) and South Africa have concluded an agreement on trade, development and cooperation (TDCA), designed to strengthen cooperation in various fields.
This Agreement pursues several objectives: strengthening dialogue between the parties, supporting South Africa in its economic and social transition process, promoting regional cooperation and the country’s economic integration in southern Africa and in the world economy, and expanding and liberalising trade in goods, services and capital between the parties.

Based on respect for democratic principles, human rights and the rule of law, the Agreement establishes a regular political dialogue on subjects of common interest, both at bilateral and regional level (within the framework of the EU’s dialogue with the countries of southern Africa and with the group of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries).

The duration of the Agreement is unspecified, but provision is made for its revision within five years of the date of its entry into force in order to consider possible amendments.

The Agreement covers a number of areas and includes a future developments clause making it possible to widen the field of cooperation.

TRADE

The TDCA establishes preferential trade arrangements between the EU and South Africa, with the progressive introduction of a Free Trade Area (FTA). The EU is South Africa’s main trading and investment partner. The FTA aims to ensure better access to the Community market for South Africa and access to the South African market for the EU. As a result, it plays an important role in South Africa’s integration into the world economy. The Agreement covers around 90 % of current bilateral trade between the two parties.

The Agreement provides for the liberalisation of 95 % of the EU’s imports from South Africa within ten years, and 86 % of South Africa’s imports from the EU in twelve years. In order to protect the vulnerable sectors of both parties, certain products are excluded from the FTA and others have been only partially liberalised. For the EU, these are mainly agricultural products, while for South Africa, they are industrial products, in particular certain motor vehicle products and certain textile and clothing products. However, since December 2006 there has been provision for a strengthening of trade liberalisation in the motor vehicle sector.

The Agreement sets out detailed rules of origin in order to ensure that products benefiting from the preferential arrangements come only from South Africa or the EU. To take account of modern international production processes, special provisions make the rules of origin more flexible.

South Africa and the EU may implement safeguard measures when an imported product threatens to cause serious injury to the national industry. The Agreement also allows South Africa to adopt transitional safeguard measures (for example, an increase or reintroduction of customs duties). In addition, similar measures make it possible to protect the economies of members of the Central African Customs Union and the outermost regions of the EU (such as Reunion).

The Agreement includes provisions aimed at avoiding abuse by firms with a dominant position on the market and thus ensuring free competition among the companies from the EU and South Africa. Cooperation takes place within the framework of consultations between the competent authorities. In addition, the EU provides technical assistance to help South Africa restructure its competition laws. The Agreement also recognises the need to provide adequate protection for intellectual property and provides for urgent consultations, where necessary, and technical assistance for South Africa.

Lastly, the TDCA provides for close cooperation in a wide range of fields linked to trade, including customs services, the free movement of services and capital, and technical obstacles such as certification and standardisation.

DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION

EU development aid for South Africa is mainly implemented from the Community budget through the financing instrument for development cooperation (DCI). For the period 2007–13, the DCI has a budget of €980 million for South Africa.

The indicative programme for cooperation with South Africa for 2007–13indicates two areas on which attention should be focused: job creation in the informal economy sector and integration into the formal economy, and capacity-building for the provision of basic social-security services and social cohesion.

As with other development cooperation agreements, decentralised cooperation is a key element of assistance, thus requiring a high degree of civil society involvement in the development process.

ECONOMIC COOPERATION

Both parties are stepping up their economic cooperation in many fields such as industry (in order to facilitate the restructuring of South African industry), the information society, the creation and development of small and medium-sized enterprises, transport and energy. Cooperation in this field should also support sustainable development in their economies and protect the environment.

OTHER ASPECTS

The provisions of the Agreement cover cooperation in fields as diverse as:

  • social cooperation, based on dialogue covering a number of aspects, such as freedom of association, workers’ rights, children’s rights, gender equality and violence against women;
  • cooperation to protect the environment, particularly as regards climate change;
  • cultural cooperation;
  • cooperation in the fight against drugs and money laundering;
  • cooperation in the field of health and, in particular, the fight against AIDS.

Lastly, the TDCA contains some institutional provisions. It creates a Cooperation Council to ensure the smooth operation of the Agreement. And it provides for regular contact between the parties; for example, between their Parliaments and between the EU’s Economic and Social Committee and its South-African counterpart, the National Economic Development and Labour Council.

BACKGROUND

Signed on 11 October 1999 in Pretoria, the TDCA entered fully into force on 1 May 2004. However, some provisions which fall within Community competence have been applied since 1 January 2000.

The Agreement is supplemented by three additional agreements: the Science and Technology Agreement, and the Wine and Spirits Agreements. The Fisheries Agreement envisaged under the TDCA has not been concluded. South Africa also has qualified membership of the Cotonou Agreement, which governs the relations between the EU and ACP countries.

REFERENCES

Act Date of entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2004/441/EC

[adoption: assent AVC/1999/0112]

26.04.2004

OJ L 127, 29.04.2004

Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA)

01.01.2004

OJ L 311, 04.12.1999

Amending Act(s) Date of entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2006/166/EC

21.12.2005

OJ L 57, 28.02.2006

Related Acts

Proposal for a Council Decision of 4 February 2008 on the signing of an Agreement between the European Community and its Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of South Africa, of the other part, amending the Agreement on Trade, Development and Cooperation [COM(2008) 50 – Not published in the Official Journal].
The Commission proposes an enlargement of the scope of cooperation provided for in the TDC agreement. The new areas of cooperation should contribute in particular to the effective implementation of the socio-economic programme of the African Union. The partners commit to pursue their efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Cooperation should extend to energy policy in order to ensure stability of prices, security and diversification of sources of supply, the development of science, technologies and the information society, and the sectors of beneficiation of minerals, transport and satellite navigation systems.

The agreement includes provisions on international justice and the International Criminal Court. It refers to the application of international instruments for disarmament and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. It also provides for stepping up cooperation in the fight against terrorism and its financing, organised crime, the prevention of mercenary activities and the eradication of small arms trading. It provides for in-depth political dialogue on the question of migration, so as to reduce illegal immigration, ensure full respect of human rights and the elimination of discrimination.

Discussions on trade and trade-related issues will take place in the context of the negotiations on an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).

Communication of 28 June 2006 from the Commission to the Council and to the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States meeting within the Council to give orientation to the Commission for the revision of the Agreement on Trade, Development and Cooperation between the European Community and its Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of South Africa, of the other part [COM(2006) 348 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
This communication, adopted parallel to that proposing a strategic partnership between the EU and South Africa, identifies which parts of the TDCA should be examined with a view to possible amendments. Following this communication, in November 2006 the Council adopted the negotiating mandate and the EU-South Africa Cooperation Council of 14 November 2006 agreed to launching the negotiations to revise the TDCA. These negotiations were concluded on 10 October 2007.

Council Regulation (EC) No 1747/2000 of 7 August 2000 amending Regulation (EC) No 2793/1999 on certain procedures for applying the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement between the European Community and the Republic of South Africa [Official Journal L 200, 08.08.2000].
The Regulation amends the annex to Regulation (EC) No 2793/1999 to bring it into line with Commission Regulation (EC) No 2204/1999 on the tariff and statistical nomenclature and on the Common Customs Tariff. In this respect, it amends the codes of the combined nomenclature of the annex in question.

Council Regulation (EC) No 2793/1999 of 17 December 1999 on certain procedures for applying the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement between the European Community and the Republic of South Africa [Official Journal L 337, 30.12.1999].

The Regulation establishes, in particular, the arrangements for the implementation of the Agreement’s trade provisions, for example, the criteria for the calculation of customs duties, etc. The Commission is responsible for the implementation of the Regulation and is assisted by a Customs Code Committee.

Scientific and technological cooperation with Egypt

Scientific and technological cooperation with Egypt

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Scientific and technological cooperation with Egypt

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These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Research and innovation > Research and innovation: international dimension and enlargement

Scientific and technological cooperation with Egypt

Acts

Council Decision 2008/180/EC of 25 February 2008 concerning the conclusion of the Agreement on scientific and technological cooperation between the European Community and the Arab Republic of Egypt.

Summary

This decision marks the conclusion of the Agreement on scientific and technological cooperation by the European Community (EC). This was a provisional agreement between the Community and Egypt signed on 21 June 2005.

The aim of the Agreement is to strengthen cooperation between the two parties in the fields of common interest where they are carrying out scientific and technological research and development projects.

The Agreement enables Egyptian legal entities * to participate in the framework programme of the European Community and, vice versa, legal entities in the Member States can participate in Egypt’s research programmes and projects in themes equivalent to those of the EC Framework programme. Activities undertaken include the implementation of research programmes, technological development and demonstration activities promoting cooperation with and between businesses, centres of research, universities, non-member countries and international organisations. The activities also aim to encourage training and the movement of researchers, as well as the dissemination and optimisation of the results of research activities, whilst also respecting the provisions for intellectual property rights.

The two parties shall facilitate the free movement of researchers and materials used for the activities covered in the Agreement. Grant funding can be allocated to a legal entity of Egypt participating in a Community action.

Coordination is undertaken by a joint committee called “EC-Egypt Joint Scientific and Technological Cooperation Committee”. The Committee is responsible for the evaluation and implementation of the Agreement. The remit of the Committee also includes the identification of sectors where cooperation could be developed and research priorities. The Committee shall meet at least once a year.

Context

The Agreement between the European Community and Egypt establishes a formal framework for cooperation in scientific and technological research

Key terms of the act
  • Legal entity: any natural person, or any legal person created under the national law of its place of establishment or under Community law or international law, having legal personality and being entitled to have rights and obligations of any kind in its own name.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2008/180/EC

27.2.2008

OJ L 59 of 4.3.2008

Scientific and technological cooperation with the United States

Scientific and technological cooperation with the United States

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Scientific and technological cooperation with the United States

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These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Research and innovation > Research and innovation: international dimension and enlargement

Scientific and technological cooperation with the United States

Acts

Council Decision 98/591/EC of 13 October 1998 concerning the conclusion of the Agreement for scientific and technological cooperation between the European Community and the Government of the United States of America.

Council Decision 2009/306/EC of 30 March 2009 concerning the extension and amendment of the Agreement for scientific and technological cooperation between the European Community and the Government of the United States of America.

Summary

Decision 2009/306/EC aims to extend the Agreement for scientific and technological cooperation concluded between the European Community (EC) and the United States on 5 December 1997 in Washington for a period of five years.

Its objective is to reinforce cooperation between the two parties in common priority areas in which they carry out scientific and technological research and development activities. Areas of cooperative activities are as follows:

  • environment,
  • biomedicine and health,
  • agriculture,
  • fisheries science,
  • engineering research,
  • non-nuclear energy,
  • natural resources,
  • materials sciences (including nanotechnology) and metrology,
  • information and communication technologies (ICTs),
  • telematics,
  • biotechnology,
  • marine sciences and technologies,
  • social sciences research,
  • transportation,
  • security research,
  • space research,
  • science and technology policy, management, training and mobility of scientists.

The Agreement allows American legal entities * to participate in the European Community Framework Programme. Reciprocally, legal entities from Member States can participate in American programmes on themes that are equivalent to those of the EC Framework Programme. Actions carried out concern the implementation of research programmes, technological development and demonstration by promoting cooperation with and between enterprises, research centres, universities, third countries and international organisations. They also aim to encourage the training and mobility of scientists, as well as the dissemination and optimisation of the results of research activities, whilst complying with the provisions for intellectual property.

The two parties will facilitate the free circulation of scientists and equipment used for activities covered by this Agreement. Funding may be granted to an American legal entity participating in a Community action.

Coordination will be carried out by a Joint Consultative Group (JCG) who will meet once a year. This group is composed of a limited and equal number of representatives from each party. It is responsible for evaluating and monitoring the implementation of the Agreement. Its remit also includes determining the sectors where cooperation could be reinforced and to define research priorities.

Context

The Agreement between the European Community and the United States of America establishes an official cooperation framework with regard to scientific and technological research. It was concluded on 5 December 1997 for an initial period of five years. It can be extended with possible amendments for additional periods of five years.

Key terms of the Act
  • Legal entity: a natural or legal person created in accordance with national law in the place of its establishment or with Community or international law, with a legal personality and being able to hold rights and obligations of any nature in its own name.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 98/591/EC

13.10.1998

OJ L 284 of 22.10.1998

Decision 2009/306/EC

30.3.2009

OJ L 90 of 2.4.2009

Scientific and technological cooperation with Jordan

Scientific and technological cooperation with Jordan

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Scientific and technological cooperation with Jordan

Topics

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Research and innovation > Research and innovation: international dimension and enlargement

Scientific and technological cooperation with Jordan

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 2011/348/EC of 10 November 2009 on the signing, on behalf of the Community, and provisional application of the Agreement between the European Community and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on Scientific and Technological Cooperation.

Agreement between the European Community and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on Scientific and Technological Cooperation.

Summary

The European Union (EU) and Jordan undertake to develop their cooperation in the field of science and technology.

Their cooperation is based, in particular, on the principles of mutual benefit and promotion of knowledge as a factor in economic and social development.

The implementation of the Agreement is managed by a joint cooperation committee.

Functioning of the cooperation

Cooperation activities may be undertaken by natural or legal persons. In this respect, the EU and Jordan must facilitate the free movement and residence of research workers in their respective territories, and the movement of goods intended for use in cooperation.

Participants established in Jordan may participate in indirect actions under the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration activities. The European authorities are authorised to perform controls and audits on contracts and grant agreements awarded to Jordanian participants, with the support of the country’s authorities.

Participants established in the EU may participate in research, development and demonstration programmes and projects in Jordan. They shall carry out their actions with due regard to national rules and be treated equitably compared with Jordanian participants.

Cooperation activities may take the following forms in particular:

  • regular political dialogue in the area of research;
  • exchanges of scientific and technological information;
  • exchanges of research workers, engineers and technicians;
  • exchanges of equipment, materials and testing services;
  • research and technological development training.

In addition, the Jordanian authorities and the Commission shall exchange information on current programmes and on new cooperation opportunities.

Intellectual property rights

Rules concerning the protection of intellectual property rights and the dissemination of knowledge are laid down in Annex II to the Agreement. These rules are compatible with national and international regulations. They apply to knowledge generated in the course of cooperation activities, to scientific literary works and to confidential information.

Agreement with Hong Kong

Agreement with Hong Kong

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Agreement with Hong Kong

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Fight against fraud > Protecting the European Union’s financial interests

Agreement with Hong Kong

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 1999/400/EC of 11 May 1999 concerning the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Community and Hong Kong, China on cooperation and mutual administrative assistance in customs matters.

Summary

The aim of this Agreement is to improve cooperation between the administrative authorities responsible for applying customs legislation *. In addition to providing for several types of cooperation, the Agreement contains a provision aimed at further developing and increasing customs cooperation by means of agreements on specific matters.

Customs cooperation

The parties undertake to develop customs cooperation by:

  • promoting effective coordination and channels of communication between their customs authorities to facilitate the secure and rapid exchange of information;
  • facilitating the movement of goods;
  • exchanging the information and expertise needed to improve customs procedures;
  • providing technical assistance to each other;
  • exchanging staff where this benefits both parties.

Mutual administrative assistance

Under the Agreement, two types of mutual administrative assistance are possible:

  • assistance on request: the requested authority * must furnish the applicant authority * with all relevant information to enable it to ensure that customs legislation is correctly applied. The information may relate to activities detected or planned which could be operations in breach of such legislation. It may also relate to the regularity of export and import procedures between the two countries.

The Agreement also provides for special surveillance in all suspect cases. Such surveillance may be applied to any natural or legal person, place, movement of goods or means of transport which is or may be linked or used to commit operations in breach of customs legislation.

  • spontaneous assistance: the parties may assist each other on their own initiative if they consider that to be necessary for the correct application of customs legislation, particularly if they receive information which could be of interest to the other party.

Formal aspects and exceptions to assistance

Requests must be made in writing, except in urgent cases where oral requests may be made, confirmed in writing thereafter. Requests must contain data on the applicant authority, the measure requested, the object of and the reason for the request, the legislation involved, the natural or legal persons involved and a summary of the relevant facts and of the enquiries already carried out.

The requested party may refuse to comply with a request if to do so would be likely to prejudice the sovereignty, public policy, security or other essential interests of one of the parties. The obligation to provide assistance may also be waived where to do so would violate an industrial, commercial or professional secret.

The Agreement contains confidentiality clauses in relation to the information supplied. A high level of protection is given to personal data.

The Agreement provides for the establishment of a Joint Customs Cooperation Committee which sees to the proper functioning of this Agreement and examines all issues arising from its application.

Key terms used in the act
  • Customs legislation: customs legislation includes any legal or regulatory provisions or any other binding legal instrument adopted by the European Community and Hong Kong governing the import, export and transit of goods and their placing under any other customs procedure, including measures of prohibition, restriction and control which fall under the competence of the customs authorities and other administrative authorities.
  • Requested authority: means the competent customs authority which receives a request for assistance.
  • Applicant authority: means the competent customs authority which makes a request for assistance.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 99/400/EC 11.5.1999 OJ L 151 of 18.6.1999

Agreement with India

Agreement with India

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Agreement with India

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Fight against fraud > Fight against counterfeiting

Agreement with India

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 2004/633/EC of 30 March 2004 concerning the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Community and the Republic of India on customs cooperation and mutual administrative assistance in customs matters.

Summary

The aim of the Agreement is to facilitate effective cooperation between the administrative authorities responsible for applying customs legislation *. This is achieved by establishing channels of communication between the customs authorities to facilitate the secure and rapid exchange of information. The cooperation provided for in this Agreement may be increased and supplemented by means of agreements on specific sectors and matters.

Customs cooperation

The parties undertake to develop customs cooperation by:

  • facilitating the legitimate movement of goods and exchanging information and expertise relating to customs techniques and procedures and computerised systems;
  • providing technical assistance to each other;
  • exchanging staff.

Mutual administrative assistance

The parties undertake to assist each other to ensure the correct application of customs legislation. The Agreement provides for two types of assistance:

  • assistance on request: the requested authority * furnishes the applicant authority * with all relevant information to enable it to ensure that customs legislation is correctly applied and to detect operations in breach of such legislation. The information may concern offences such as the presentation of incorrect or falsified documents and the regularity of export and import procedures between the two countries.

The Agreement also provides that special surveillance may be requested where there are grounds for believing that persons, places, goods or means of transport are involved in operations in breach of customs legislation.

  • spontaneous assistance: the parties assist each other if they consider that to be necessary for the correct application of customs legislation. In particular, they communicate to each other any information which can help to avoid substantial damage to the economy, public health or similar vital interests.

Formal aspects and exceptions to assistance

Requests must be made in writing, except in urgent cases where oral requests may be made, confirmed in writing thereafter. Requests must contain data on the applicant authority, the measure requested, the object of and the reason for the request, all the legally binding instruments involved and the persons who are the target of the investigation.

The requested party may refuse to provide assistance if to do so would be likely to prejudice the sovereignty, public policy, security or other essential interests of one of the parties. The obligation to provide assistance may also be waived where to do so would violate an industrial, commercial or professional secret, or involve currency or tax regulations other than customs legislation. The requested party may also decide to postpone assistance on the ground that it interferes with an ongoing investigation, prosecution or proceedings.

The Agreement contains confidentiality clauses in relation to the information supplied, which is covered by the obligation of professional secrecy. A high level of protection is given to personal data.

The Agreement provides for the establishment of a Joint Customs Cooperation Committee which sees to the proper functioning of this Agreement and examines all issues arising from its application.

Key terms used in the act
  • Customs legislation: customs legislation includes any legal provisions adopted by the European Community or India governing the import, export and transit of goods and their placing under any other customs procedure, including measures of prohibition, restriction and control.
  • Requested authority: means the competent customs authority which receives a request for assistance.
  • Applicant authority: means the competent customs authority which makes a request for assistance.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2004/633/EC 30.3.2004 OJ L 304 of 30.9.2004

Container security: EU/US agreements

Container security: EU/US agreements

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Container security: EU/US agreements

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External relations > Industrialised countries

Container security: EU/US agreements

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 2004/634/EC of 30 March 2004 concerning the conclusion of an Agreement between the European Community and the United States of America on intensifying and broadening the scope of the Agreement on customs cooperation and mutual assistance in customs matters to include cooperation on container security and related matters.

Summary

The 1997 Agreement on customs cooperation and mutual assistance in customs matters (CMAA) was designed to establish smooth trade relations between the European Community and the United States. To achieve the objective of the Agreement, the two parties undertook to develop customs cooperation of the widest possible scope. Article 3 of the Agreement provides for the possibility of expanding its scope by mutual consent.

On 22 April 2004, the two parties signed an Agreement which extended the scope of the 1997 Agreement. In order to cover supply-chain security of transatlantic trade, the EU and the United States would expand customs cooperation to ensure that general customs control takes due account of security concerns.

The Agreement provides for the prompt expansion of the Container Security Initiative to all ports in the Community that meet relevant requirements. It aims to improve cargo security on a reciprocal basis for both the EU and the US, whilst ensuring equal treatment of US and EU ports and operators. It also sets out a work programme for the implementation of the following measures:

  • the development of standards for risk management techniques;
  • information required to identify high-risk shipments imported by the parties;
  • industry partnership programmes.

The external coordination of customs control standards with the United States is also necessary to guarantee supply-chain security and ensure the continued flow of legitimate trade in containers. The customs authorities of the importing country work together with customs authorities involved in earlier parts of the supply chain to use timely information and inspection technology to target and screen high-risk containers before they are shipped from their ports or places of loading or transhipment in the respective countries. It is essential to ensure that all ports can participate in the Container Security Initiative on the basis of uniform principles. The adoption of comparable standards should also be promoted in US ports.

The Agreement aims to improve security on a reciprocal basis so as to ensure cooperation in the development of action in the specific areas of control for which the Community is competent. Such cooperation must also facilitate the legitimate trade of both parties.

The Member States must be able to extend the Container Security Initiative (CSI) to all Community ports in collaboration with the United States. To do so, Member States must identify the ports participating in the initiative and provide for the stationing of US customs officials in these ports or maintain the existing declarations of principle on this point in accordance with the Treaty and the extended CMAA.

In order to continue to broaden and intensify customs cooperation between the Community and the United States, cooperation between the Member States and the Community institutions is necessary. A consultation procedure has therefore been put in place whereby Member States that negotiate arrangements with the United States in the fields governed by the extended CMAA must consult the Commission and the other Member States beforehand. The purpose of these consultations is to facilitate information exchange and ensure that the agreed arrangements comply with the Treaty, common policies and the extended CMAA. If the Commission considers that an arrangement which a Member State wishes to include in cooperation with the United States does not comply, it informs the Member State concerned. Similarly, the Member State is informed when a subject has to be dealt with under the extended CMAA.

The EU-US Joint Customs Cooperation Committee is mandated with finding an appropriate form and content for documents and measures with a view to continuing to implement intensified and broadened customs cooperation under the Agreement.

The Agreement sets up a working group composed of representatives of the US customs authorities assisted by interested EU Member States. This group has the task of examining and making recommendations in, among others, the following areas:

  • defining minimum standards, in particular in view of participating in CSI, and recommending methods by which those standards may be met;
  • identifying and broadening the application of best practices concerning security controls of international trade, especially those developed under CSI;
  • defining and establishing standards for the information required to identify and control high-risk shipments imported into, transhipped through, or transiting the United States and the European Community;
  • improving and establishing standards for targeting and screening such high-risk shipments, to include information exchange, the use of automated targeting systems, and the development of minimum standards for inspection technologies and screening methodologies;
  • improving and establishing standards for industry partnership programmes designed to improve supply-chain security and facilitate legitimate trade;
  • identifying any regulatory or legislative changes that would be necessary to implement the recommendations of the Working Group;
  • considering the type of documents and measures to further implement intensified and broadened customs cooperation on the issues set out in the annex to the Agreement.

This Working Group reports regularly to the Joint Committee, the Commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection and the Director-General of DG Taxation and Customs Union of the Commission.

  • On 15 November 2004, the European Community and the United States adopted, via the Joint Committee, recommendations on strengthening the security of the maritime transport of containers under the Agreement.

The adoption of these recommendations contributes to the full implementation of the EC-US Agreement on ICS. The EU-US Joint Customs Cooperation Committee suggests that the working group continue to pursue the aim of mutual recognition and reciprocity of measures and standards. It must also present the initial results of the proposed activities and other recommendations in spring 2005. The results will pave the way for comparable measures applicable to all modes of transport.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2004/634/EC 28.4.2004 OJ L 304 of 30.9.2004

 

Customs Agreement with Japan

Customs Agreement with Japan

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Customs Agreement with Japan

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

External relations > Relations with third countries > Asia

Customs Agreement with Japan

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 2008/202/EC of 28 January 2008 concerning the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Community and the Government of Japan on cooperation and mutual administrative assistance in customs matters [Official Journal L 62 of 6.3.2008].

Summary

Customs cooperation

This Agreement introduces cooperation encompassing all fields of customs legislation.

This cooperation shall be achieved by establishing channels of communication and by introducing coordination between customs authorities *.

The parties undertake to facilitate commercial transactions while increasing their level of security. The Agreement aims in particular at improving customs techniques and procedures. The aim is to strengthen cooperation at bilateral level and within international organisations.

Mutual administrative assistance

This Agreement provides for two types of assistance between authorities in the event of customs operations that are in breach of legislation:

  • assistance on request, concerning the lawfulness of and customs procedure for imports and exports of goods, suspects, places of storage and the transport of goods;
  • spontaneous assistance, concerning in particular the potential risks to the economy, public safety and public health. In the interests of the other party, the requested authority * provides all information relating to activities, resources and methods, goods, persons and means of transport.

Formal aspects and exceptions to assistance

Requests will be made in writing in a language understood by both authorities. In urgent cases, an oral request may precede the written request.

To facilitate the processing of the request, the applicant authority * will provide sufficient information on the measure requested, the object of and the reason for the request. It also provides information on the suspects, the legislation involved, the relevant facts and investigations carried out.

To comply with a request for assistance, the requested authority communicates all information already available to it or undertakes any necessary investigation. The measures taken shall be coordinated with the applicant authority.

If it is not possible to comply with a request, a reasoned communication is sent to the applicant authority without delay.

A request may be refused or postponed. It may also be made subject to conditions in the event of prejudice to the sovereignty, security, public policy or interests of a State, especially where the protection of the information transmitted cannot be guaranteed.

The data transmitted is confidential; it is protected under the laws and regulations applicable in the State of the applicant authority. However, this information may be used as evidence in the context of a preparatory inquiry.

A Joint Customs Cooperation Committee is responsible for the proper functioning of this Agreement.

Key terms of the Act
  • Customs authority: in Japan, the Ministry of Finance, and, in the European Union, the competent services of the Commission and the customs authorities of the Member States.
  • Applicant authority: a customs authority of a Contracting Party which makes a request for assistance on the basis of this Agreement.
  • Requested authority: a customs authority of a Contracting Party which receives a request for assistance on the basis of this Agreement.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Decision 2008/202/EC

28.1.2008

OJ L 62, 6.3.2008