«AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE EFTA STATES AND ISRAEL Note: Austria, Finland and Sweden withdrew from the Convention establishing the European Free Trade ...»
AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE EFTA STATES AND ISRAEL
Note: Austria, Finland and Sweden withdrew from the Convention establishing the
European Free Trade Association (the Stockholm Convention) on 31 December 1994. In
accordance with paragraph 3 of Article 36 of the Free Trade Agreement between the
EFTA States and Israel these three countries ceased to be Parties to the Agreement on
the same day. Consequently, in the present text, the provisions referring to Austria, Finland and Sweden have been deleted.
III PREAMBLE The Republic of Iceland, the Principality of Liechtenstein, the Kingdom o f Norway, the Swiss Confederation (hereinafter called the EFTA States) and the State o f Israel (hereinafter called Israel), Having regard to the Convention establishing the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), Having regard to the Free Trade Agreements and related instruments between Israel and its main trading partners, Having regard t o the co-operation developed in the light of the aforementioned Agreements as well as between individual EFTA States and Israel, Declaring their willingness to take action with a view to promoting a harmonious development of their trade as well as to expanding and diversifying their mutual cooperation in fields of common interest, including fields not covered by this Agreement, thus creating a framework and supportive environment based on equality and nondiscrimination, Recalling the mutual interest of the EFTA States and Israel to the continual reinforcement of the multilateral trading system and considering their capacity as Contracting Parties of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, the provisions and instruments of which constitute a basis for their foreign trade policy, Resolved to lay down for this purpose provisions aimed at a progressive abolition of the obstacles to trade between the EFTA States and Israel in accordance with the provisions of that Agreement, in particular those concerning the establishment of free trade areas, Confirming the common desire for the progressive and sustained participation of the EFTA States and Israel in the process of economic integration, Considering that no provision of this Agreement may be interpreted as exempting the States Parties to this Agreement (hereinafter called the Parties) from their obligations under other international agreements,
HAVE DECIDED, in pursuance of these objectives, to conclude the following Agreement:
IV ARTICLE 1 Objectives
The objectives of this Agreement are:
(a) to promote, through the expansion of reciprocal trade, the harmonious development of the economic relations between the EFTA States and Israel;
(b) to provide fair conditions of competition for trade between the EFTA States and Israel;
(c) to contribute in this way, by the removal of barriers to trade, to the harmonious development and expansion of world trade;
(d) to enhance co-operation between the EFTA States and Israel.
ARTICLE 2 Scope
1. The Agreement shall apply:
(a) to products falling within Chapters 25 to 97 of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, excluding the products listed in Annex I;
(b) to products specified in Protocol A, with due regard to the arrangements provided for in that Protocol;
(c) to fish and other marine products as provided for in Annex II;
originating in an EFTA State or in Israel.
2. The provisions concerning trade in agricultural products which are not covered by paragraph 1 are contained in Article 11.
3. This Agreement applies to trade relations between, on the one hand, each EFTA State and, on the other hand, Israel. It shall not apply to the trade relations between EFTA States, except if otherwise provided for in this Agreement.
ARTICLE 3 Rules of origin
1. Protocol B lays down the rules of origin and methods of administrative co-operation. V
2. The Parties shall take appropriate measures, including regular reviews and arrangements regarding administrative co-operation, to ensure that the provisions o f Articles 4 to 7, 12 and 21 are effectively and harmoniously applied, taking into account the need to reduce as far as possible the formalities imposed on trade and the need t o achieve mutually satisfactory solutions to any difficulties arising out of the operation o f those provisions.
ARTICLE 4 Customs duties on imports and charges having equivalent effect
1. No new customs duty on imports or any charge having equivalent effect shall be introduced in trade between the EFTA States and Israel.
2. Upon the entry into force of this Agreement the EFTA States shall abolish all customs duties on imports and any charges having equivalent effect for products originating in Israel.
3. Upon the entry into force of this Agreement Israel shall abolish all customs duties on imports and any charges having equivalent effect for products originating in an EFTA State.
ARTICLE 5 Customs duties of a fiscal nature
1. The provisions of paragraphs 1 to 3 of Article 4 shall also apply to customs duties o f a fiscal nature except as provided for in Protocol C. 1
2. The Parties may replace a customs duty of a fiscal nature or the fiscal element of a customs duty by an internal tax.
ARTICLE 6 Customs duties on exports and charges having equivalent effect
1. No new customs duty on exports or charge having equivalent effect shall be introduced in trade between the EFTA States and Israel.
2. Upon the entry into force of this Agreement customs duties on exports and any charges having equivalent effect shall be abolished, except as provided for in Annex III. 2 1 Protocol C, as amended by Joint Committee Decisions Nos. 4 of 1993 (11 and 1 2 November 1993) and 2 of 1996 (13 February 1996), was deleted by Joint Committee Decision No. 2 of 1997 (12 November 1997).
2 Annex III, as amended by Joint Committee Decision No. 3 of 1996 (13 February 1996), was deleted by Joint Committee Decision No. 3 of 1997 (12 November 1997).
VI ARTICLE 7 Quantitative restrictions and measures having equivalent effect
1. No new quantitative restriction on imports or exports or measures having equivalent effect shall be introduced in trade between the EFTA States and Israel.
2. Upon the entry into force of this Agreement quantitative restrictions on imports or exports and measures having equivalent effect shall be abolished except as provided for in Annex IV.1 3. For the purpose of this Agreement "quantitative restrictions and measures having equivalent effect" means prohibitions or restrictions on imports or exports into an EFTA State from Israel or into Israel from an EFTA State made effective through quotas, import or export licences or other administrative measures and requirements restricting trade.
ARTICLE 8Non-economic reasons for restrictions
This Agreement 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 intellectual property. Such prohibitions or restrictions shall not, however, constitute a means of arbitrary discrimination or disguised restriction on trade between an EFTA State and Israel.
ARTICLE 9 State monopolies
1. The Parties shall ensure that any state monopoly of a commercial character be adjusted so that no discrimination regarding the conditions under which goods are procured and marketed will exist between nationals of the EFTA States and Israel.
2. The provisions of this Article shall apply to any body through which the competent authorities of the Parties, in law or in fact, either directly or indirectly supervise, determine or appreciably influence imports or exports between the Parties. These provisions shall likewise apply to monopolies delegated by the State to others.
1 Annex IV was deleted by Joint Committee Decision No. 2 of 1999 (24 June 1999).
VII ARTICLE 1 0 Technical regulations
1. The Parties recognize the important role of harmonized international standards and technical regulations in the development of trade.
2. They reconfirm their adherence to the GATT Agreement on Technical Barriers t o Trade and to its procedures.
3. The Parties may, within the framework of the Joint Committee, hold consultations in case that a Party considers that another Party did not fulfil its obligations in a satisfactory way, in particular if a Party considers that another Party has taken measures which are likely to create, or have created, an obstacle to trade.
4. The Parties agree to start discussions on possibilities to co-operate more closely in the field of testing and certification as means to further facilitate trade.
ARTICLE 1 1 Trade in agricultural products
1. The Parties declare their readiness to foster, in so far as their agricultural policies allow, harmonious development of trade in agricultural products.
2. In pursuance of this objective each individual EFTA State and Israel have concluded a bilateral arrangement providing for measures to facilitate trade in agricultural products.
3. The Parties shall apply their regulations in veterinary, plant health and health matters in a non-discriminatory fashion and shall not introduce any new measures that have the effect of unduly obstructing trade.
ARTICLE 1 2 Internal taxation
1. The Parties shall refrain from any measure or practice of an internal fiscal nature establishing, whether directly or indirectly, discrimination between the products originating in an EFTA State and like products originating in Israel.
2. Products exported to the territory of one of the Parties may not benefit from repayment of internal taxation in excess of the amount of direct or indirect taxation imposed on them.
VIII ARTICLE 1 3 Payments
1. Payments relating to trade between an EFTA State and Israel and the transfer of such payments to the territory of the Party where the creditor resides shall be free from any restrictions.
2. The Parties shall refrain from any exchange or administrative restrictions on the grant, repayment or acceptance of short- and medium-term credits covering commercial transactions in which a resident participates.
3. Israel reserves the right to apply exchange restrictions connected with the granting or taking up of short- and medium-term credits to the extent permitted according t o Israel's status under the IMF, provided that these restrictions are applied in a nondiscriminatory manner.
They shall be applied in such a manner as to cause the least possible disruption to this Agreement. Israel shall inform the Joint Committee promptly of the introduction of such measures and of any changes therein.
ARTICLE 1 4 Public procurement
1. The Parties consider the effective liberalisation of their respective public procurement markets an integral objective of this Agreement.
2. As of the entry into force of this Agreement, the Parties shall grant each other's companies access to contract award procedures on their respective public procurement markets on a reciprocal basis according to the Agreement on Government Procurement of 12 April 1979, as amended by a Protocol of Amendments of 2 February 1987, negotiated under the auspices of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.
3. Taking into account the rules and disciplines agreed upon within the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and with third countries in this field, the Parties foresee to extend the scope of paragraph 2 of this Article after the entry into force of this
Agreement in accordance with the following provisions:
(a) The Parties agree to further ensure effective transparency and free access and that there is no discrimination between the potential suppliers from the Parties. To this end the Parties shall progressively adjust the relevant rules, conditions, procedures and practices governing the participation in contracts awarded by public authorities and public undertakings, and by private undertakings which have been granted special or exclusive rights.
(b) The Parties agree to entrust the Joint Committee to decide, as soon as possible, on all practical modalities, including the scope, timetable and rules for this adjustment, taking into account the need to maintain a full balance of the rights and obligations between the Parties.
4. As soon as conceivable after the entry into force of this Agreement, the Joint Committee shall discuss with a view to reaching an agreement on a progressive extension of the list of the procuring entities to be covered as regards their procurements in the supplies and utilities sectors, above the respective thresholds.
ARTICLE 1 5 Protection of intellectual property
1. The Parties shall grant and ensure adequate, effective and non-discriminatory protection of intellectual property rights, as defined in Article 1 of Annex V. They shall adopt and take adequate, effective and non-discriminatory measures for the enforcement of such rights against infringement thereof, and in particular against counterfeiting and piracy.
Particular obligations of the Parties shall be listed in Annex V.
2. The Parties agree to comply with the substantive provisions of the multilateral conventions which are specified in Article 2 of Annex V and make their best endeavours to adhere to them as well as to multilateral agreements facilitating co-operation in the field of protection of intellectual property rights.
3. In the field of intellectual property, the Parties shall not grant treatment to each other's nationals less favourable than that accorded to nationals of any other State. Any advantage, favour, privilege or immunity in the field of intellectual property deriving