«PREAMBLE The Republic of Iceland, the Principality of Liechtenstein, the Kingdom of Norway and the Swiss Confederation (hereinafter referred to as ...»
AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE EFTA STATES AND SINGAPORE
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 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 t o protect and preserve the environment;
HAVE AGREED, in pursuit of the above, to conclude the following Agreement (hereinafter
referred to as “this Agreement”):
I GENERAL PROVISIONSArticle 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
(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;
(c) to achieve further liberalisation on a mutual basis of the government procurement markets of the Parties;
(d) to achieve the liberalisation of tradein services, in conformity with Article V of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (hereinafter referred to as “the GATS”);
(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 (g) to contribute in this way, by the removal of barriers to trade and investment, to the harmonious development and expansion of world trade.
Article 2: Geographical Scope
1. Without prejudice to Annex I, this Agreement shall apply:
(a) to the land territory, internal waters, and the territorial sea of a Party, and the airspace above the territory in accordance with international law; as well as (b) beyond the territorial sea, with respect to measures taken by a Party in the exercise of its sovereign rights or jurisdiction in accordance with international law.
2. Annex II applies with respect to Norway.
Article 3: 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 1 9 2 3 between Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein, Switzerland shall represent the Principality of Liechtenstein in matters covered thereby.
Article 4. Relationship to Other Agreements 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.
Article 5: Regional and Local Government 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 o f governmental powers delegated by central, regional and local governments or authorities within its territory.
II TRADE IN GOODSArticle 6: Scope and Coverage
1. This Chapter applies to:
(a) products falling within Chapters 25 through 97 of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS);
(b) products specified in Annex III with due regard to the arrangements provided for in that Annex; and (c) fish and other marine products as provided for in Annex IV.
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.
Article 7: Rules of Origin and Administrative Co-operation
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 o f 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 t o review Annex I with a view to adapting the system of outward processing to their evolving economic needs. Such review shall take place biannually unless the Parties agree otherwise.
Article 8:Customs Duties
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:
a. a charge equivalent to an internal tax, such as excise duties and other taxes, levied a t the time of importation or exportation, imposed consistently with Article 11; or b. a fee or other charge, not applied on an ad valorem basis, provided that it is limited in amount to the approximate cost of services rendered, and does not represent an indirect protection for domestic products or a taxation of imports or exports for fiscal purposes.
Article 9: Import and Export Restrictions 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.
Article 10: Most-Favoured-Nation Treatment 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 t o negotiate any additional benefits granted therein.
Article 11: National Treatment 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.
Article 12: Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures
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.
Article 13: Technical Regulations
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 o f relevant ISO/IEC Standards and Guides; and (c) promoting the mutual acceptance of conformity assessment results of the above bodies which have been recognised under an appropriate multilateral agreement between their respective accreditation systems or bodies.
3. The Parties shall, within the context of this Article, expeditiously:
(a) broaden the exchange of information; 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 t o working out an appropriate solution in conformity with the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade.
Article 14: State Trading Enterprises 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 o f this Agreement.
Article 15: Subsidies 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.
Article 17: Emergency Action on Imports of Particular Products
1. Where any product originating in a Party, as a result of the reduction or elimination o f 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 t o
a level not to exceed the lesser of:
a) the most-favoured nation (MFN) rate of duty in effect at the time the action is taken;
b) the MFN applied rate of duty in effect on the day immediately preceding the date o f the entry into force of this Agreement.
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.