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«The Republic of Iceland, the Principality of Liechtenstein, the Kingdom of Norway and the Swiss Confederation (hereinafter referred to as “the EFTA ...»

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

and the Swiss Confederation (hereinafter referred to as “the EFTA States”),


The Republic of Singapore (hereinafter referred to as “Singapore”), hereinafter collectively referred to as the Parties, CONSIDERING the important links existing between Singapore and the EFTA States, and wishing to strengthen these links through the creation of a free trade area, thus establishing close and lasting relations;

REAFFIRMING their commitment to the principles set out in the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;

DESIROUS by way of the removal of obstacles to trade to contribute to the harmonious development and expansion of world trade and provide a catalyst to broader international co-operation, in particular between Europe and Asia;

DETERMINED to create an expanded and secure market for goods and services in their territories;

RESOLVED to ensure a stable and predictable environment for investment;

INTENDING to enhance the competitiveness of their firms in global markets;

AIMING to create new employment opportunities, improve living standards and ensure a large and steadily growing volume of real income in their respective territories through the expansion of trade and investment flows;

RECOGNIZING that the gains from trade liberalisation should not be offset by private, anti-competitive practices;

CONVINCED that this Agreement will create conditions encouraging economic, trade and investment relations between them;

BUILDING on their respective rights and obligations under the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization and the other agreements negotiated thereunder and other multilateral and bilateral instruments of co-operation; and III RECOGNIZING that trade liberalisation should allow for the optimal use of the world’s resources in accordance with the objective of sustainable development, seeking both to protect and preserve the environment;

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



ARTICLE 1 Objectives

1. The EFTA States and Singapore hereby establish a free-trade area in accordance with the provisions of this Agreement.

2. The objectives of this Agreement, which is based on trade relations between

market economies are:

(a) to achieve the liberalisation of trade in goods, in conformity with Article XXIV of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (hereinafter referred to as “the GATT 1994”);

(b) to promote competition in their economies, particularly as it relates to economic relations between the Parties;

–  –  –

(e) to mutually enhance investment opportunities and accord constant protection for investors and investments;

(f) to ensure adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights, in accordance with international standards; and

–  –  –

Trade and Economic Relations Governed by this Agreement

1. The provisions of this Agreement apply to the trade and economic relations between, on the one side, the EFTA States and, on the other side, Singapore, but not to the trade relations between individual EFTA States, unless otherwise provided for in this Agreement.

2. As a result of the customs union established by the Treaty of 29 March 1923 between Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein, Switzerland shall represent the Principality of Liechtenstein in matters covered thereby.

–  –  –

The provisions of this Agreement shall be without prejudice to the rights and obligations of the Parties 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 a party and any other international agreement to which they are a party.

–  –  –

Each Party is fully responsible for the observance of all obligations and commitments under this Agreement and shall ensure their observance by its respective regional and local governments and authorities and by non-governmental bodies in the exercise of governmental powers delegated by central, regional and local governments or authorities within its territory.

–  –  –

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

–  –  –

1. The provisions on rules of origin and administrative co-operation applicable to Articles 8, 16 and 17 are set out in Annex I.

2. The non-preferential rules of origin of a Party shall apply to the other Articles of this Chapter not listed under paragraph 1. The arrangements for administrative cooperation set out in Annex I shall apply mutatis mutandis.

3. Two years after the entry into force of this Agreement the Parties shall meet to review Annex I with a view to adapting the system of outward processing to their evolving economic needs. Such review shall take place biennially unless the Parties agree otherwise.

–  –  –

1. Upon the entry into force of this Agreement, the Parties shall abolish all customs duties on imports and exports of products originating in an EFTA State or in Singapore, excluding the products listed in Annex V. No new customs duties shall be introduced.

2. 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 in connection with such importation or exportation.

3. Nothing in this Chapter shall prevent a Party from imposing at any time on the

importation or exportation of any product of another Party:

–  –  –

Upon the entry into force of this Agreement, all import or export prohibitions or restrictions on trade in goods between the EFTA States and Singapore, other than customs duties and taxes, whether made effective through quotas, import or export licenses or other measures, shall be eliminated on all products of each Party.

–  –  –

If a Party concludes a preferential agreement with a non-Party under Article XXIV of the GATT 1994, it shall, upon request from another Party, afford adequate opportunity to negotiate any additional benefits granted therein.

–  –  –

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.

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1. The Parties shall apply their regulations in sanitary and phytosanitary matters in a non-discriminatory manner and shall not introduce any new measures that have the effect of unduly obstructing trade.

2. The principles set out in paragraph 1 shall be applied in accordance with the WTO Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, which is hereby incorporated into and made part of this Agreement.

–  –  –

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.

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 respective systems and facilitating access to their respective

markets. To this end, they shall in particular co-operate in:

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

(b) promoting the accreditation of conformity assessment bodies on the basis of relevant ISO/IEC Standards and Guides; and

–  –  –

(b) give favourable consideration to any written request for consultation.

4. Without prejudice to paragraph 1, 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 and which according to Singapore or one or more of the EFTA States has created or is likely to create an obstacle to trade between the Parties, with a view to working out an appropriate solution in conformity with the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade.

–  –  –

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.

–  –  –

The rights and obligations of the Parties in respect of subsidies shall be governed by Articles VI and XVI of the GATT 1994, the WTO Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures and the WTO Agreement on Agriculture.

–  –  –

1. A Party shall not apply anti-dumping measures as provided for under the WTO Agreement on Implementation of Article VI of the GATT 1994 in relation to products originating in another Party.

2. In order to prevent dumping, the Parties shall undertake the necessary measures as provided for under Chapter V.

–  –  –

1. Where any product originating in a Party, as a result of the reduction or elimination of a customs duty under this Agreement, is being imported into the territory of another Party in such increased quantities and under such conditions as to constitute a substantial cause of serious injury or threat thereof to the domestic industry of like or directly competitive products in the territory of the importing Party, the importing Party may take emergency measures to the minimum extent necessary to remedy or prevent the injury.

2. Such measures shall consist in increasing the rate of customs duty on the

product to a level not to exceed the lesser of:

–  –  –

3. Emergency measures shall be taken for a period not exceeding one year. In very exceptional circumstances, after review by the Joint Committee, measures may be taken up to a total maximum period of three years. A Party taking such measures shall present a schedule leading to their progressive elimination. No measures shall be applied to the import of a product which has previously been subject to such a measure for a period of, at least, five years since the expiry of the measure.

4. Emergency measures shall only be taken upon clear evidence that increased imports have caused or are threatening to cause serious injury pursuant to an investigation in accordance with the procedures laid down in the WTO Agreement on Safeguards.

5. The Party intending to take an emergency measure under this Article shall promptly make a notification to the other Parties and the Joint Committee, containing all pertinent information which shall include evidence of serious injury or threat thereof caused by increased imports, precise description of the product involved, the proposed measure, proposed date of introduction and expected duration of the investigation and the proposed measure. Any Party that may be affected by the measure shall simultaneously be offered compensation in the form of substantially equivalent trade liberalisation in relation to the imports from any such Party.

6. The Joint Committee shall, within 30 days from the date of notification, examine the information provided under paragraph 5 in order to facilitate a mutually acceptable XI resolution to the matter. In the absence of such resolution, the importing Party may adopt a measure pursuant to paragraph 2 to remedy the problem, and, in the absence of mutually agreed compensation, the Party against whose product the measure is taken may take compensatory action. The emergency measure and the compensatory action shall be immediately notified to the Joint Committee. The compensatory action shall consist of suspension of concessions having substantially equivalent trade effects or concessions substantially equivalent to the value of the additional duties expected to result from the emergency action. In the selection of the emergency measure and the compensatory action, priority must be given to the action which least disturbs the functioning of this Agreement.

7. In critical circumstances, where delay would cause damage which would be difficult to repair, a Party may take a provisional emergency measure pursuant to a preliminary determination that there is clear evidence that increased imports have caused or are threatening to cause serious injury. The Party intending to take such a measure shall immediately inform the other Parties and the Joint Committee thereof.

The duration of any such provisional measure shall be counted as part of the initial period and any extension.

8. Two years after entry into force of this Agreement the Parties shall meet to review this Article with a view to determining whether there is a need to maintain an emergency action mechanism.

9. If the Parties decide, after the first review, to maintain such a mechanism, they shall thereafter conduct biennial reviews in the Joint Committee.

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