30.6.2006   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

L 176/100


COUNCIL DECISION

of 22 May 2006

on the conclusion of an Agreement in the form of an Exchange of Letters between the European Community and the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu pursuant to Article XXIV:6 and Article XXVIII of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1994 relating to the modification of concessions in the schedules of the Czech Republic, the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Cyprus, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania, the Republic of Hungary, the Republic of Malta, the Republic of Poland, the Republic of Slovenia and the Slovak Republic in the course of their accession to the European Union

(2006/445/EC)

THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 133 in conjunction with the first sentence of the first subparagraph of Article 300(2) thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission,

Whereas:

(1)

On 22 March 2004 the Council authorised the Commission to open negotiations with certain other Members of the WTO under Article XXIV:6 of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1994, in the course of the accessions to the European Union of the Czech Republic, the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Cyprus, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania, the Republic of Hungary, the Republic of Malta, the Republic of Poland, the Republic of Slovenia and the Slovak Republic.

(2)

Negotiations have been conducted by the Commission in consultation with the Committee established by Article 133 of the Treaty and within the framework of the negotiating directives issued by the Council.

(3)

The Commission has finalised negotiations for an Agreement in the form of an Exchange of Letters between the European Community and the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu pursuant to Article XXIV:6 and Article XXVIII of the GATT 1994. The said Agreement should therefore be approved,

HAS DECIDED AS FOLLOWS:

Article 1

The Agreement in the form of an Exchange of Letters between the European Community and the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu pursuant to Article XXIV:6 and Article XXVIII of the GATT 1994 relating to the modification of concessions in the schedules of the Czech Republic, the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Cyprus, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania, the Republic of Hungary, the Republic of Malta, the Republic of Poland, the Republic of Slovenia and the Slovak Republic in the course of their accession to the European Union, with respect to the withdrawal of specific concessions in relation to the withdrawal of the schedules of the Czech Republic, the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Cyprus, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania, the Republic of Hungary, the Republic of Malta, the Republic of Poland, the Republic of Slovenia and the Slovak Republic in the course of their accession to the European Union, is hereby approved on behalf of the Community.

The text of the Agreement in the form of an Exchange of Letters is attached to this Decision.

Article 2

The President of the Council is hereby authorised to designate the person(s) empowered to sign the Agreement in order to bind the Community (1).

Done at Brussels, 22 May 2006.

For the Council

The President

J. PRÖLL


(1)  The date of entry into force of the Agreement will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union.


AGREEMENT IN THE FORM OF AN EXCHANGE OF LETTERS

between the European Community and the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu pursuant to Article XXIV:6 and Article XXVIII of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1994 relating to the modification of concessions in the schedules of the Czech Republic, the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Cyprus, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania, the Republic of Hungary, the Republic of Malta, the Republic of Poland, the Republic of Slovenia and the Slovak Republic in the course of their accession to the European Union

Sir,

Following the initiation of negotiations between the European Communities (EC) and the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu under Article XXIV:6 and Article XXVIII of GATT 1994 for the modification of concessions in the Schedules of Czech Republic, the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Cyprus, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania, the Republic of Hungary, the Republic of Malta, the Republic of Poland, the Republic of Slovenia and the Slovak Republic in the course of their accession to the EC, the following is agreed between the EC and the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu in order to conclude the negotiations initiated following the EC's notification of 19 January 2004 to the WTO pursuant to Article XXIV:6 of GATT 1994.

The EC agrees to incorporate in its Schedule for the customs territory of EC 25, the concessions that were included in its previous schedule of EC 15.

The EC agrees that it will incorporate in its schedule for the EC 25 the following concession:

8712 00 30 (bicycles not motorised): A lowering of the current bound EC duty of 15 % to 14,0 %.

This Agreement shall enter into force upon the Exchange of Letters of agreement, following consideration by the parties in accordance with their own procedures. The EC shall use its best endeavours to put in place the appropriate implementing measures before 1 March 2006 and under no circumstances later than 1 July 2006.

Please accept, Sir, the assurance of my highest consideration.

On behalf of the European Community

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Sir,

Reference is made to your letter stating:

‘Following the initiation of negotiations between the European Communities (EC) and the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu under Article XXIV:6 and Article XXVIII of GATT 1994 for the modification of concessions in the Schedules of Czech Republic, the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Cyprus, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania, the Republic of Hungary, the Republic of Malta, the Republic of Poland, the Republic of Slovenia and the Slovak Republic in the course of their accession to the EC, the following is agreed between the EC and the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu in order to conclude the negotiations initiated following the EC's notification of 19 January 2004 to the WTO pursuant to Article XXIV:6 of GATT 1994.

The EC agrees to incorporate in its Schedule for the customs territory of EC 25, the concessions that were included in its previous schedule of EC 15.

The EC agrees that it will incorporate in its schedule for the EC 25 the following concession:

8712 00 30 (bicycles not motorised): A lowering of the current bound EC duty of 15 % to 14,0 %.

This Agreement shall enter into force upon the Exchange of Letters of agreement, following consideration by the parties in accordance with their own procedures. The EC shall use its best endeavours to put in place the appropriate implementing measures before 1 March 2006 and under no circumstances later than 1 July 2006.’

I hereby have the honour to express my Government's agreement.

Please accept, Sir, the assurance of my highest consideration.

On behalf of the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu

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