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«Consolidated version, last amended on 20 September 2010 THE EUROPEAN FREE TRADE ASSOCIATION 9-11, Rue de Varembé – Geneva Convention establishing ...»

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CONVENTION

ESTABLISHING THE

EUROPEAN FREE TRADE

ASSOCIATION

Consolidated version, last amended on 20 September 2010

THE EUROPEAN FREE TRADE ASSOCIATION

9-11, Rue de Varembé – Geneva

Convention establishing

the European Free Trade Association

The Republic of Iceland, the Principality of Liechtenstein, the Kingdom of Norway and the Swiss Confederation (hereinafter referred to as the “Member States”);

Having regard to the conclusion on 4 January 1960, between the Republic of Austria, the Kingdom of Denmark, the Kingdom of Norway, the Portuguese Republic, the Kingdom of Sweden, the Swiss Confederation and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, of the Convention establishing the European Free Trade Association (hereinafter referred to as the “Convention”);

Having regard to the association with the Republic of Finland and its subsequent accession on 1 January 1986, and to the accessions by the Republic of Iceland on 1 March 1970 and by the Principality of Liechtenstein on 1 September 1991;

Having regard to the successive withdrawals from the Convention by the Kingdom of Denmark and the United Kingdom on 1 January 1973; the Republic of Portugal on 1 January 1986; the Republic of Austria, the Republic of Finland and the Kingdom of Sweden on 1 January 1995;

Having regard to the free trade agreements between the Member States on the one hand and third parties on the other;

Reaffirming the high priority they attach to the privileged relationship between the Member States and to the facilitation of continuity in their respective good relations with the European Union, which are based on proximity, long-standing common values and European identity;

Resolved to deepen the co-operation instituted within the European Free Trade Association, further facilitating the free movement of goods, aiming at the progressive attainment of free movement of persons and the progressive liberalisation of trade in services and investment, further opening up the public procurement markets in the EFTA States, and providing for the appropriate protection of intellectual property rights, under fair conditions of competition;

Building on their respective rights and obligations under the Agreement establishing the World Trade Organization and other multilateral and bilateral instruments of co-operation;

Recognising the need for mutually supportive trade and environmental policies in order to achieve the objective of sustainable development;

Affirming their commitment to the observance of recognised core labour standards, noting their endeavours to promote such standards in the appropriate multilateral fora and expressing their belief that economic growth and development fostered by increased trade and furthertrade liberalisation contribute to the promotion of these standards;

Have agreed as follows:

–  –  –

An international organisation to be known as the European Free Trade Association, hereinafter referred to as "the Association", is hereby established.

–  –  –

(c) to progressively liberalise the free movement of persons;

(d) the progressive liberalisation of trade in services and of investment;

–  –  –

(f) to open the public procurement markets of the Member States;

(g) to provide appropriate protection of intellectual property rights, in accordance with the highest international standards.

–  –  –

Customs duties on imports and exports, and charges having equivalent effect Customs duties on imports and exports, and any charges having equivalent effect, shall be prohibited between the Member States. This shall also apply to customs duties of a fiscal nature.

–  –  –

1. No Member State shall impose, directly or indirectly, on the products of other Member States any internal taxation of any kind in excess of that imposed directly or indirectly on similar domestic products.

2. Furthermore, no Member State shall impose on the products of other Member States any internal taxation of such a nature as to afford indirect protection to other products.

3. Where products are exported to the territory of any Member State, any repayment of internal taxation shall not exceed the internal taxation imposed on them whether directly or indirectly.

–  –  –

1. Member States shall assist each other in customs matters in general in accordance with the provisions of Annex B in order to ensure that their customs legislation is correctly applied.

2. Annex B shall apply to all products whether or not covered by the provisions of this Convention.

–  –  –

1. In view of the special considerations affecting agriculture, the basic agricultural goods and the goods processed from agricultural raw materials listed in Annex C shall

be subject to the following rules:





–  –  –

2. Chapter IV on State aid, Chapter VI on competition and Chapter XII on public procurement shall not apply to agricultural goods.

3 Also applies to the Principality of Liechtenstein as long as its Customs Union Treaty of 29 March 1923 with Switzerland remains in force.

4 Also applies to the Principality of Liechtenstein as long as its Customs Union Treaty of 29 March 1923 with Switzerland remains in force.

5 Also applies to the Principality of Liechtenstein as long as its Customs Union Treaty of 29 March 1923 with Switzerland remains in force.

ARTICLE 9

–  –  –

1. In order to take account of differences in the cost of the agricultural raw

materials incorporated in the goods specified in Part I of Annex C referred to in subparagraph (a) of Article 8, the Convention does not preclude, in respect of such goods:

–  –  –

2. The fixed duties, levied upon import of goods listed in Part I of Annex C, shall be based on, but not exceed, the differences between the domestic price and the world market price of the agricultural raw materials incorporated into the goods concerned.

3. With due regard to the provisions in paragraph 2, no Member State shall accord to imports of goods listed in Part I or in Part II of Annex C from the territory of another Member State a treatment less favourable than it accords to imports from the territory of the European Community or any other free trade partner.

4. The Member States shall notify each other of all changes in the treatment for products listed in Part I or in Part II of Annex C accorded to the European Community or any other free trade partner.

–  –  –

The provisions of Article 7 shall not preclude prohibitions or restrictions on imports, exports or goods in transit justified on grounds of public morality; public policy or public security; the protection of health and life of humans, animals or plants and of the environment; the protection of national treasures possessing artistic, historic or archaeological value; or the protection of industrial and commercial property. Such prohibitions or restrictions shall not, however, constitute a means of arbitrary discrimination or a disguised restriction on trade between the Member States.

–  –  –

1. Member States shall notify to the Council at the earliest practicable stage all draft technical regulations or amendments thereto.

2. The provisions on the notification procedure are set out in Annex H.

–  –  –

Without prejudice to Article 7, Switzerland, on the one hand, and Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, on the other, grant mutual acceptance of reports, certificates, authorisations, conformity marks and manufacturer’s declarations of conformity in accordance with Annex I.

–  –  –

1. The rights and obligations of the Member States relating to State aid shall be based on Article XVI of the GATT 1994 and the WTO Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures, which are incorporated and made part of the Convention, except as otherwise provided for in Annex Q.

2. Member States shall not apply countervailing measures as provided for under Part V of the WTO Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures in relation to any other Member State in accordance with Article 36.

3. The Member States shall review the scope of application of this Chapter with a view to extending the disciplines with respect to State aid to the field of services, taking into account international developments in the sector. The reviews shall take place at yearly intervals.

CHAPTER V : PUBLIC UNDERTAKINGS AND MONOPOLIES

–  –  –

(b) trade discrimination on grounds of nationality in so far as it frustrates the benefits expected from the removal or absence of duties and quantitative restrictions on trade between Member States.

2. For the purposes of this Article, “public undertakings” means central, regional, or local government authorities, public enterprises and any other organisation by means of which a Member State, by law or in practice, controls or appreciably influences imports from, or exports to, the territory of a Member State.

3. The provisions of paragraph 1 of Article 18 shall also apply to the activities of public undertakings, and undertakings for which the Member States grant special or exclusive rights, in so far as the application of these provisions does not obstruct the performance, in law or in fact, of the particular public tasks assigned to them.

4. Paragraph 3 shall apply to Annex Q. The Member States shall review the scope of application of this Chapter with a view to extending the disciplines to other services, taking into account international developments in the sector. The reviews shall take place at yearly intervals.

5. Member States shall ensure that new practices of the kind described in paragraph 1 of this Article are not introduced.

6. Where Member States do not have the necessary legal powers to control the activities of regional or local government authorities or enterprises under their control in these matters, they shall nevertheless endeavour to ensure that those authorities or enterprises comply with the provisions of this Article.

–  –  –

1. Member States recognise that the following practices are incompatible with this

Convention in so far as they frustrate the benefits arising from this Convention:

(a) agreements between enterprises, decisions by associations of enterprises and concerted practices between enterprises which have as their object or result the prevention, restriction or distortion of competition;

–  –  –

2. Should a Member State consider that a given practice is incompatible with this Article, it may ask for consultations in accordance with the procedures set out in Article 47 and take appropriate measures under the conditions set out in paragraph 2 of Article 40 to deal with the difficulties resulting from the practice in question.

CHAPTER VII : PROTECTION OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

–  –  –

1. Member States shall grant and ensure adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights, and provide for measures for the enforcement of such rights against infringement thereof, counterfeiting and piracy, in accordance with the provisions of this Article, Annex J and the international agreements referred to therein.

2. Member States shall accord to each other’s nationals treatment no less favourable than that they accord to their own nationals. Exemptions from this obligation must be in accordance with the substantive provisions of Article 3 of the TRIPS Agreement.

3. Member States shall grant to each other’s nationals treatment no less favourable than that accorded to nationals of any other State. Exemptions from this obligation must be in accordance with the substantive provisions of the TRIPS Agreement, in particular Articles 4 and 5 thereof.

4. Member States agree, upon request of any Member State, to review the provisions on the protection of intellectual property rights contained in the present Article and in Annex J, with a view to further improve levels of protection and to avoid or remedy trade distortions caused by actual levels of protection of intellectual property rights.

–  –  –

1. Freedom of movement of persons shall be secured among Member States in accordance with the provisions set out in Annex K and in the Protocol to Annex K on the free movement of persons between Liechtenstein and Switzerland.

2. The objective of this Article for the benefit of the nationals of the Member

States shall be:

–  –  –

In order to provide freedom of movement of persons, the Member States shall make provision, in accordance with Appendix 2 of Annex K and with the Protocol to Annex K on the free movement of persons between Liechtenstein and Switzerland, for the

coordination of social security systems with the aim in particular of:

–  –  –

(b) determining the legislation applicable;

(c) aggregating, for the purpose of acquiring and retaining the right to benefit and of calculating the amount of benefit, of all periods taken into consideration by the national legislation of the States concerned;

–  –  –



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