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«BETWEEN THE EFTA STATES AND THE SACU STATES PREAMBLE The Republic of Iceland, the Principality of Liechtenstein, the Kingdom of Norway and the Swiss ...»

-- [ Page 1 ] --

FREE TRADE AGREEMENT

BETWEEN

THE EFTA STATES

AND

THE SACU STATES

PREAMBLE

The Republic of Iceland, the Principality of Liechtenstein, the Kingdom of Norway and

the Swiss Confederation, Members of the European Free Trade Association (hereinafter

referred to as “the EFTA States”), and the Republic of Botswana, the Kingdom of Lesotho, the Republic of Namibia, the Republic of South Africa and the Kingdom of Swaziland, together forming the Southern African Customs Union (hereinafter referred to jointly as “SACU” or severally as “the SACU States”), hereinafter collectively referred to as “the Parties”, CONSIDERING that the EFTA States and the SACU States wish to further strengthen their links and to establish close and lasting relations based on partnership and cooperation;

RECOGNISING the efforts by the governments of the SACU States to further economic and social development for their people and the willingness of the EFTA States to support this process;

RECALLING the importance attached by the Parties to the principles and rules which govern international trade and to the need to apply them in a transparent and nondiscriminatory manner;

TAKING ACCOUNT of the Parties’ rights and obligations in terms of their membership of the World Trade Organisation (hereinafter referred to as “the WTO”) and their contribution to the further strengthening of the multilateral trading system;

RECOGNISING the special needs and interests of the SACU States as developing or least-developed countries and that such needs and interests be taken care of by less than full reciprocity in reduction commitments as referred to in the Doha Development Agenda;

CONFIRMING the commitment of the Parties to promote regional co-operation and economic integration between the countries of Southern Africa and Europe and to encourage the liberalization of trade between the Parties;

III BEARING IN MIND the Parties’ commitment to ensure that their mutual arrangements do not impede the process of regional integration among the EFTA States on the one hand and the SACU States on the other;

DESIRING to create new employment opportunities and to improve working conditions and living standards in their respective territories while promoting sustainable development;

REAFFIRMING their commitment to the principles and objectives set out in the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; and CONVINCED that this Agreement will create conditions encouraging economic, trade and investment relations between the Parties;

HAVE AGREED, in pursuit of the above, to conclude the present Agreement (hereinafter referred to as “this Agreement”):

IV

CHAPTER I GENERAL PROVISIONS

–  –  –

1. The Parties hereby establish a free trade area in accordance with the provisions of this Agreement, which is based on trade relations between market economies.

2. The objectives of this Agreement are to:

–  –  –

(b) substantially increase investment opportunities in the free trade area;

(c) promote adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights;

–  –  –

Trade and Economic Relations Governed by this Agreement The provisions of this Agreement apply to the trade and economic relations between, on the one side, the individual EFTA States and, on the other side, the individual SACU States or, where specifically provided for, the SACU States acting jointly as SACU. In relation to SACU, the meaning to be attributed to “Parties” or “Party” in each case is to be deduced from the relevant provisions of this Agreement and from the respective competencies of SACU and the SACU States as they follow from the SACU Agreement 2002, as amended from time to time. This Agreement applies neither to the trade relations amongst the EFTA States, nor to the trade relations amongst the SACU States.

–  –  –

1. The Parties confirm their rights and obligations under the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization and the other agreements negotiated thereunder (hereinafter referred to as “the WTO Agreement”) to which they are parties and any other international agreement applicable between them.

2. No provision of this Agreement shall be interpreted as exempting the Parties from the obligations which are incumbent on them under other international agreements.

–  –  –

This Agreement shall not preclude the maintenance, establishment or enlargement of customs unions, free trade areas, arrangements for frontier trade and other preferential agreements of the Parties to the extent that these do not interfere with the fulfillment of obligations under this Agreement. The Parties shall inform each other in the Joint Committee established in accordance with Article 33 (hereinafter referred to as “the Joint Committee”) about such agreements with third countries.





–  –  –

originating in an EFTA State or in SACU in accordance with the rules of origin set out in Annex V.

2. SACU and each EFTA State have concluded agreements on trade in agricultural products on a bilateral basis. These agreements form part of the instruments establishing the free trade area between the EFTA States and SACU.

–  –  –

1. The provisions on rules of origin are set out in Annex V.

2. The provisions on mutual administrative co-operation in customs matters are set out in Annex VI.

–  –  –

1. No new customs duties shall be introduced in trade between the EFTA States and SACU, covered by paragraph 1 of Article 6, except as provided for in this Agreement.

2. The EFTA States shall, on entry into force of this Agreement, abolish all customs duties on imports of originating products from SACU.

–  –  –

4. The Parties shall, on entry into force of this Agreement, eliminate all customs duties on exports to the other Parties, except as provided for in this Agreement.

5. A customs duty includes any duty or charge of any kind imposed in connection with the importation or exportation of a product, including any form of surtax or surcharge, but does not include any charge imposed in conformity with Articles III, VIII and XI of the GATT 1994.

–  –  –

1. For each product the basic duty, to which the successive reductions set out in Annexes IV and VII are to be applied, shall be the most-favoured-nation (hereinafter referred to as “MFN”) rate of duty applied on 1 July 2003.

2. If before, by or after 1 July 2003 any tariff reduction is applied on an erga omnes basis, in particular reductions in accordance with commitments resulting from multilateral negotiations under the WTO, such reduced duties shall replace the basic duties referred to in paragraph 1 as from the date when such reductions are applied, or from the entry into force of this Agreement if this is later.

3. The reduced duties calculated in accordance with Annexes IV and VII shall be applied rounded to the first decimal place or, in case of specific duties, to the second decimal place.

4. Paragraph 1 shall not apply to the products that are under investigation by the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa as at 1 July 2003, as listed in Annex VIII, and the products listed in Tables 1 and 2 of Annex VII, categorized as Lists 5 and 6.

5. With the exception of the margin of preference categorized as “motors partial 1” and “motors partial 2” in paragraph 5 of Annex VII, paragraph 2 shall not apply to the products listed in Tables 1 and 2 of Annex VII, categorized as List 5 and 6.

–  –  –

The rights and obligations of the Parties in respect of export and import restrictions shall be governed by Article XI of the GATT 1994, which is hereby incorporated into and made part of this Agreement.

–  –  –

Except as otherwise provided for in this Agreement, the Parties shall apply national treatment in accordance with Article III of the GATT 1994, including its interpretative notes, which is hereby incorporated into and made part of this Agreement.

–  –  –

The rights and obligations of the Parties in respect of state trading enterprises shall be governed by Article XVII of the GATT 1994 and the Understanding on the Interpretation of Article XVII of the GATT 1994, which are hereby incorporated into and made part of this Agreement.

–  –  –

Technical Regulations, Standards and Conformity Assessment

1. The rights and obligations of the Parties in respect of technical regulations, standards and conformity assessment shall be governed by the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (hereinafter referred to as “the WTO TBT Agreement”) as well as the decisions and recommendations adopted by the WTO TBT Committee since 1 January 1995.

2. The Parties shall strengthen their co-operation in the field of technical regulations, standards and conformity assessment with a view to increasing the mutual understanding of their systems and facilitating access to their respective markets. To this end, the Parties shall, upon request, exchange information and consider

expeditiously any request for co-operation. Co-operation may consist of:

a) encouraging the application of the WTO TBT Agreement;

b) enhancing regulatory and standard setting practices;

c) promoting international harmonization of technical regulations;

d) reinforcing the role of international standards as a basis for technical regulations including conformity assessment procedures;

e) exchanging information on the variety of mechanisms to facilitate the acceptance of conformity assessment results;

–  –  –

g) identifying and assessing possible instruments for trade facilitation, such as equivalence of technical regulations and mutual recognition of conformity assessment results.

3. Without prejudice to the rights and obligations of the Parties under the WTO TBT Agreement, the Parties agree to hold consultations in the framework of the Joint Committee to address any matter that may arise from the application of specific technical regulations, standards and conformity assessment procedures if such application has created or is likely to create an obstacle to trade between the Parties, with a view to finding an appropriate solution in conformity with the WTO TBT Agreement.

–  –  –

1. The rights and obligations of the Parties in respect of sanitary and phytosanitary measures shall be governed by the WTO Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (hereinafter referred to as “the WTO SPS Agreement”).

2. The Parties shall strengthen their co-operation in sanitary and phytosanitary matters with a view to increasing the mutual understanding of their systems and improving access to their markets. Such co-operation may include expert consultations.

3. If a Party considers that another Party has taken measures which are likely to affect, or have affected, access to its market, expert consultations shall be convened with a view to finding an appropriate solution in conformity with the WTO SPS Agreement. Such consultations can be held both within and outside the framework of the Joint Committee. The Parties shall exchange names and addresses of contact points with sanitary and phytosanitary expertise in order to facilitate communication and the exchange of information.

4. Any agreement between the Parties shall be commensurate with the domestic legislation of the Parties and safeguard the SACU States’ individual and collective sanitary and phytosanitary status.

5. The Parties affirm their support of the standards set by the international bodies that the WTO SPS Agreement recognizes, taking into consideration that not all the SACU States are signatories to the International Plant Protection Convention.

–  –  –

1. The Parties recognise that certain business practices, such as anti-competitive agreements or concerted practices and abuses of dominant positions, may restrict trade between the Parties and thereby hinder the fulfilment of the objectives of this Agreement.

2. A Party which considers that the operation of this Agreement is adversely affected by a practice referred to in paragraph 1 may request the Party or Parties in whose territory such practice originates to co-operate with a view to putting an end to the practice concerned or its adverse effects. Co-operation shall include, to the extent permitted by domestic law, the exchange of information that is available to the Parties in relation to the matter in question.

3. In the event that co-operation between the Parties directly involved according to paragraph 2 does not lead to a solution, the affected Party may request consultations in the Joint Committee with a view to reaching a mutually satisfactory solution.

–  –  –

1. The rights and obligations of the Parties relating to subsidies and countervailing measures shall be governed by Articles VI and XVI of the GATT 1994 and the WTO Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures, except as provided for in paragraph 2.



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