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«The Arab Republic of Egypt (hereinafter referred to as Egypt), on the one part, and the Republic of Iceland, the Principality of Liechtenstein, the ...»

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FREE TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE ARAB

REPUBLIC OF EGYPT AND THE EFTA STATES

PREAMBLE

The Arab Republic of Egypt (hereinafter referred to as Egypt), on the one part, and the Republic

of Iceland, the Principality of Liechtenstein, the Kingdom of Norway, the Swiss Confederation

(hereinafter referred to collectively as the EFTA States), on the other part, hereinafter referred to

as "the Parties":

CONSIDERING the importance of the links existing between Egypt and the EFTA States, in particular the Declaration on Co-operation signed in Zermatt in December 1995, and recognizing the common wish to strengthen these links, thus establishing close and lasting relations, RECALLING the membership of Egypt and the EFTA States in the World Trade Organization (hereinafter referred to as “the WTO”) and their commitment to comply with the rights and obligations arising from the Marrakech Agreement establishing the WTO, including the principles of most-favoured-nation and of national treatment, RECALLING their intention to participate actively in the process of economic integration in the Euro-Mediterranean region, and expressing their preparedness to cooperate in seeking ways and means to strengthen this process, REAFFIRMING their commitment to the principles and objectives set out in the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, DESIRING to create favourable conditions for the development and diversification of trade between them and for the promotion of commercial and economic co-operation in areas of common interest on the basis of equality, mutual benefit, non-discrimination and international law, RESOLVED to contribute to the strengthening of the multilateral trading system and to develop their relations towards free trade in compliance with the WTO rules, CONSIDERING that no provision of this Agreement may be interpreted as exempting the Parties from their obligations under other international agreements, especially the WTO, DESIRING to create new employment opportunities while promoting sustainable development, DECLARING their readiness to examine the possibility of developing and deepening their economic relations in order to extend them to fields not covered by this Agreement, CONVINCED that this Agreement provides an appropriate framework for exchange of information and views on economic developments and trade, CONVINCED that this Agreement will create conditions encouraging economic, trade and investment relations between them, HAVE DECIDED, in pursuit of the above, to conclude the following Free Trade Agreement (hereinafter referred to as "this Agreement"):

CHAPTER I GENERAL PROVISIONS

ARTICLE 1 Objectives

1. Egypt and the EFTA States shall establish a free trade area in accordance with the provisions of this Agreement with a view to spurring prosperity and economic development in their territories.

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 gradually develop an environment conducive to increased investment flows and enhanced trade in services;

(c) to ensure adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights; and (d) to support the harmonious development of economic relations between the Parties through technical and financial assistance.

–  –  –

This Chapter shall apply to the following products originating in Egypt or an EFTA State:

(a) all products falling within Chapters 25 to 97 of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (hereinafter referred to as "HS"), with the exception of the products listed in Annex I;

(b) processed agricultural products specified in Protocol A, with due regard to the arrangements provided for in that Protocol;

–  –  –

1. No new customs duties on imports or charges having equivalent effect shall be introduced in trade between Egypt and the EFTA States as of the entry into force of this Agreement.

2. Egypt shall gradually eliminate its customs duties on imports and any charges having equivalent effect on products originating in an EFTA State in accordance with Annex IV.

–  –  –

1. The applicable rates for imports between the Parties, to which the successive reductions set out in this Agreement are to be applied, shall be the WTO bound rate or the applied rate enforced as of the entry into force of this Agreement if it is lower. If, after the entry into force of this Agreement, a tariff reduction is applied on an erga omnes basis, the reduced rate shall apply.

2. The Parties shall communicate to each other their respective rates applied on the date of the entry into force of this Agreement.

–  –  –

Quantitative restrictions on imports and measures having equivalent effect

1. Quantitative restrictions on imports and any other measures having equivalent effect in trade between Egypt and the EFTA States shall be abolished from the entry into force of this Agreement.





2. No new quantitative restriction on imports or any other measures having equivalent effect shall be introduced in trade between Egypt and the EFTA States.

–  –  –

Egypt and the EFTA States shall neither apply customs duties or charges having equivalent effect, nor quantitative restrictions or measures having equivalent effect to exports between themselves.

–  –  –

1. The Parties shall refrain from any measure or practice of an internal fiscal nature establishing, whether directly or indirectly, discrimination between the products of a Party and like products originating in the territory of another Party.

2. Products exported to the territory of a Party may not benefit from repayment of indirect internal taxation in excess of the amount of indirect taxation imposed on them either directly or indirectly.

–  –  –

1. Payments relating to trade between Egypt and an EFTA State 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 currency exchange or administrative restrictions on the grant, repayment or acceptance of short and medium-term credits covering commercial transactions in which a resident participates.

–  –  –

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").

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, thereby preparing the ground for possible mutual recognition agreements.

3. Without prejudice to paragraph 1, the Parties agree to hold consultations in the framework of the Joint Committee where Egypt or an EFTA State considers that one or more EFTA States or Egypt respectively have taken measures which are likely to create, or have created, an obstacle to trade, in order to find an appropriate solution in conformity with the WTO TBT Agreement.

–  –  –

1. The Parties shall apply their regulations for sanitary and phytosanitary matters in a nondiscriminatory fashion 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 15

–  –  –

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.

–  –  –

1. The rights and obligations of the Parties in respect of subsidies and countervailing measures 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.

2. If a Party finds that subsidies are granted which affect trade with another Party, the Party concerned may take appropriate measures in accordance with the above mentioned Agreements and relevant internal legislation and executive regulations.

–  –  –

1. The rights and obligations of the Parties in respect of the application of antidumping measures shall be governed by Article VI of the GATT 1994 and the Agreement on Implementation of Article VI of the GATT 1994.

2. If a Party finds that dumping is taking place in trade with another Party, the Party concerned may take appropriate measures in accordance with the above mentioned Agreements and relevant internal implementation legislation.

–  –  –

1. The provisions of Article XIX of the GATT 1994 and the WTO Agreement on Safeguards shall apply between the Parties.

2. Before applying safeguard measures pursuant to the provisions of Article XIX of the GATT 1994 and the WTO Agreement on Safeguards, the Party intending to apply such measure shall supply the Joint Committee with all relevant information required for a thorough examination of the situation with a view to seeking a solution acceptable to the Parties. In order to find such a solution, the Parties shall immediately hold consultations within the Joint Committee. If, as a result of the consultations, the Parties do not reach an agreement within thirty days of the initiation of the consultations on a solution to avoid the safeguard measures, the Party intending to apply safeguard measures may apply the provisions of Article XIX of the GATT 1994 and the WTO Agreement on Safeguards.

3. In the selection of safeguard measures pursuant to this Article, the Parties shall give priority to those that cause least disturbance to the achievement of the objectives of this Agreement.

4. Safeguard measures shall be notified immediately to the Joint Committee and shall be subject to periodic consultations within the Committee, particularly with a view to their abolition as soon as circumstances permit.

–  –  –

1. By way of derogation from the provisions of paragraph 2 of Article 6, Egypt may take exceptional measures of limited duration to increase or re-introduce customs duties.

2. Such measures may only apply to new and infant industries or to sectors undergoing restructuring or experiencing serious difficulties, particularly where those difficulties entail severe social problems.

3. Customs duties on import into Egypt of products originating in an EFTA State that are introduced by such exceptional measures may not exceed 25 per cent ad valorem, and must retain a preferential margin for products originating in the EFTA States. The total value of imports of the products subjected to such measures may not exceed 20 per cent of total imports of industrial products from the EFTA States during the last year for which statistics are available.

4. Such measures shall be applied for no longer than five years, except where a longer duration is authorized by the Joint Committee. They shall cease to apply at the latest on expiry of the maximum transitional period.

5. Such measures may not be introduced for a given product if more than three years have elapsed since the abolition of all duties, quantitative restrictions and charges and measures having equivalent effect for the product concerned.

6. Egypt shall inform the Joint Committee of any exceptional measures it intends to adopt and, at the request of an EFTA State, consultations shall be held on the measures and sectors concerned before they are implemented. When adopting such measures, Egypt shall provide the Joint Committee with a schedule for the abolition of the customs duties introduced or increased pursuant to this Article. Such schedule shall provide for the phasing out of the duties concerned by equal annual instalments, starting no later than the end of the second year following their introduction. The Joint Committee may decide on a different schedule.

7. By way of derogation from the provisions of paragraph 4, the Joint Committee may exceptionally, in order to take into account the difficulties involved in setting up new industries, endorse the measures already taken by Egypt pursuant to paragraph 1 for a maximum period of four years beyond the twelve years transitional period

–  –  –

1. Where compliance with the provisions of Article10 leads to:

(a) re-export to a third country against which the exporting Party maintains, for the product concerned, quantitative export restrictions, export duties or measures or charges having equivalent effect; or (b) a serious shortage, or threat thereof, of a product essential to the exporting Party;

and where the situations referred to above give rise or are likely to give rise to major difficulties for the exporting Party, that Party may take appropriate measures laid down in paragraph 2.



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