17.12.2004   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

L 370/70


COUNCIL DECISION

of 25 October 2004

concerning the conclusion of an Agreement in the form of an Exchange of Letters between the European Community and the Kingdom of Norway on Protocol 2 to the bilateral Free Trade Agreement between the European Economic Community and the Kingdom of Norway

(Text with EEA relevance)

(2004/859/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)

Protocol 2 to the bilateral free trade agreement between the European Economic Community and the Kingdom of Norway (1), of the one hand, and Protocol 3 to the EEA Agreement, as amended by Decision No 140/2001 of the EEA Joint Committee (2), of the other hand, determine the trade arrangements for certain agricultural and processed agricultural products between the Contracting Parties.

(2)

At the time of the adoption of Decision No 140/2001, the EC and Norway stated in a joint declaration that the non-agricultural component of customs duties on products in Table I of Protocol 3 must be eliminated. On this basis, discussions between Commission and Norwegian officials were concluded on 11 March 2004. The new tariff concessions shall be implemented by an EEA Joint Committee Decision amending Protocol 3 to the EEA Agreement.

(3)

An agreement in the form of an exchange of letters between the European Community and the Kingdom of Norway on Protocol 2 to the bilateral Free Trade Agreement between the European Economic Community and the Kingdom of Norway, has also been negotiated in order to take into account the results of these discussions.

(4)

The measures necessary for the implementation of this Decision should be adopted in accordance with Council Decision 1999/468/EEC of 28 June 1999 laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission (3).

(5)

The Agreement should be approved,

HAS DECIDED AS FOLLOWS:

Article 1

The Agreement in the form of an Exchange of Letters between the European Community and the Kingdom of Norway concerning Protocol No 2 to the bilateral Free Trade Agreement between the European Economic Community and the Kingdom of Norway is hereby approved on behalf of the Community.

The text of the Agreement is attached to this Decision.

Article 2

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

Article 3

The measures necessary for the implementation of this Decision shall be adopted in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 4(2).

Article 4

1.   The Commission shall be assisted by the management committee on horizontal questions concerning trade in processed agricultural products referred to in Article 16 of Council Regulation (EC) No 3448/93 (4), hereinafter referred to as ‘the Committee’.

2.   Where reference is made to this paragraph, Articles 4 and 7 of Decision 1999/468/EC shall apply.

The period laid down in Article 4(3) of Decision 1999/468/EC shall be set at one month.

3.   The Committee shall adopt its Rules of Procedure.

Done at Luxembourg, 25 October 2004

For the Council

The President

R. VERDONK


(1)  OJ L 171, 27.6.1973, p. 2.

(2)  OJ L 22, 24.1.2002, p. 34.

(3)  OJ L 184, 17.7.1999, p. 23.

(4)  OJ L 318, 20.12.1993, p. 18. Regulation as last amended by Regulation (EC) No 2580/2000 (OJ L 298, 25.11.2000, p. 5).


AGREEMENT

in the form of an Exchange of Letters between the European Community and the Kingdom of Norway concerning Protocol 2 to the bilateral Free Trade Agreement between the European Economic Community and the Kingdom of Norway

Sir,

I have the honour to confirm that the European Community is in agreement with the ‘Agreed minutes’ attached to this letter concerning Protocol No 2 to the bilateral free trade agreement between the European Economic Community and the Kingdom of Norway.

I should be obliged if you would confirm that the Government of the Kingdom of Norway is in agreement with the content of this letter.

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

Hecho en Bruselas, el

V Bruselu dne

Udfærdiget i Bruxelles, den

Geschehen zu Brüssel am

Brüssel,

Έγινε στις Βρυξέλλες, στις

Done at Brussels,

Fait à Bruxelles, le

Fatto a Bruxelles, addí

Briselÿ,

Priimta Briuselyje,

Kelt Brüsszelben,

Magÿmula fi Brussel,

Gedaan te Brussel,

Sporzÿdzono w Brukseli, dnia

Feito em Bruxelas,

V Bruseli,

V Bruslju,

Tehty Brysselissä

Utfärdat i Bryssel den

Întocmit la Bruxelles

Image

Por la Comunidad Europea

Za Evropské společenství

For Det Europæiske Fællesskab

Für die Europäische Gemeinschaft

Euroopa Ühenduse nimel

Για την Ευρωπαϊκή Κοινότητα

For the European Community

Pour la Communauté européenne

Per la Comunità europea

Eiropas Kopienas vārdā

Europos bendrijos vardu

az Európai Közösség részéről

Għall-Komunità Ewropea

Voor de Europese Gemeenschap

W imieniu Wspólnoty Europejskiej

Pela Comunidade Europeia

Za Európske spoločenstvo

za Evropsko skupnost

Euroopan yhteisön puolesta

På Europeiska gemenskapens vägnar

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AGREED MINUTES

I.   Introduction

On 11 March 2004, and after several meetings between Norway and Commission officials, a compromise was reached on tariff reductions or abolition on a number of processed agricultural products covered by Protocol 3 to the EEA Agreement (1) or by Protocol No 2 to the 1973 free trade agreement between the European Economic Community and the Kingdom of Norway (2).

These concessions should lead to the improvement of market access for Norway and the Community and would require the modification of Protocol 3 to the EEA Agreement as well as Protocol No 2 to the bilateral free trade agreement. Therefore, the two parties agreed to submit for approval to their respective authorities some changes to the import arrangements applied by the parties to certain processed agricultural products. The changes will be implemented in the form of a Decision of the EEA Joint Committee amending Protocol 3 to the EEA Agreement and of the present Agreement in the form of an exchange of letters between the European Community and the Kingdom of Norway.

The changes in Protocol No 2 will enter into force on 1 January 2005.

The two parties agree that the respective import arrangements below will replace the agreement in the form of an exchange of letters of 27 November 2002.

II.   Norwegian import arrangements

From 1 January 2005, Norway will open the following annual tariff quotas for the Community:

Norwegian tariff codes

Description

Volume

Applicable rate of duty

1506.0021

Bonefat, bone oil and neat's foot oil

2 360 tonnes

Free

1518.0041

Linseed oil

100 tonnes

Free

III.   Community Import arrangements

From 1 January 2005, the Community will open the following annual tariff quotas for Norway:

Order number

CN Code

Description

Volume

Applicable rate of duty

09.0765

1517 10 90

Margarine, excluding liquid margarine, containing, by weight, not more than 10% of milk fats

2 470

tonnes

Free

09.0771

ex 2207 10 00

(TARIC Code 90)

Undenatured ethyl alcohol of an alcohol strength by volume of 80% vol. or higher, other than that obtained from agricultural products listed in Annex I to the EEC Treaty

164 000

hectolitres

Free

09.0772

ex 2207 20 00

(TARIC Code 90)

Ethyl alcohol and other spirits, denatured, of any strength, other than that obtained from agricultural products listed in Annex I to the EEC Treaty

14 340

hectolitres

Free

09.0774

2403 10

Smoking tobacco, whether or not containing tobacco substitutes in any proportion

370

tonnes

Free

IV.   Community arrangements on certain soft drinks

From 1 January 2005, the present arrangements temporarily suspend the duty free regime applied under Protocol No 2 to the bilateral free trade agreement to goods classified under CN codes 2202 10 00 (waters, including mineral waters and aerated waters, containing added sugar or other sweetening matter or flavoured) and ex 2202 90 10 (other non-alcoholic beverages containing sugar (sucrose or invert sugar)).

The Community will open an annual duty free tariff quota from 1 January to 31 December for goods originating in Norway and classified under CN codes 2202 10 00 (waters, including mineral waters and aerated waters, containing added sugar or other sweetening matter or flavoured) and ex 2202 90 10 (other non-alcoholic beverages containing sugar (sucrose or invert sugar)), for the following quantity: 14,3 million litres in 2005. Outside the quota allocation, the import duty will be 0,047 €/litre. The import duty may be revised annually on the basis of the difference in sugar prices between Norway and the Community.

On 31 October 2005, and on 31 October of each following year, if the tariff quota has been exhausted, the tariff quota applicable from 1 January of the following year will be increased by 10 %. If the quota has not been exhausted on that date, the products mentioned in paragraph 1 will be granted unlimited duty free access to the Community from 1 January to 31 December of the following year.

V.   The tariff quotas specified under II, III and IV shall be granted to originating products in accordance with the rules of origin laid down in Protocol No 3 to the 1973 Free Trade Agreement between the European Economic Community and the Kingdom of Norway.

Sir,

I have the honour to acknowledge receipt of your letter of today's date which reads as follows:

‘I have the honour to confirm that the European Community is in agreement with the “Agreed minutes” attached to this letter concerning Protocol No 2 to the bilateral free trade agreement between the European Economic Community and the Kingdom of Norway.

I should be obliged if you would confirm that the Government of the Kingdom of Norway is in agreement with the content of this letter.’

I have the honour to confirm that my Government is in agreement with the content of your letter and the proposed date of entry into force of the amendments.

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

Done at Brussels,

Hecho en Bruselas, el

V Bruselu dne

Udfærdiget i Bruxelles, den

Geschehen zu Brüssel am

Brüssel,

Έγινε στις Βρυξέλλες, στις

Fait à Bruxelles, le

Fatto a Bruxelles, addí

Briselÿ,

Priimta Briuselyje,

Kelt Brüsszelben,

Magÿmula fi Brussel,

Gedaan te Brussel,

Sporzÿdzono w Brukseli, dnia

Feito em Bruxelas,

V Bruseli,

V Bruslju,

Tehty Brysselissä

Utfärdat i Bryssel den

Întocmit la Bruxelles

Image

For the Government of the Kingdom of Norway

Por el Gobierno del Reino de Noruega

Za vládu Norského království

På vegne af Kongeriget Norges regering

Im Namen des Königreichs Norwegen

Norra Kuningriigi valitsuse nimel

Για την Κυβέρνηση του Βασιλείου της Νορβηγίας

Pour le gouvernement du Royaume de Norvège

Per il Governo del Regno di Norvegia

Norvēģijas Karalistes valdības vārdā

Norvegijos Karalystės Vyriausybės vardu

A Norvég Királyság Kormánya részéről

Għall-Gvern tar-Renju tan-Norveġja

Voor de Regering van het Koninkrijk Noorwegen

W imieniu Rządu Królestwa Norwegii

Pelo Governo do Reino da Noruega

Za vládu Nórskeho kráľovstva

Za vlado Kraljevine Norveške

Norjan kuningaskunnan hallituksen puolesta

För Konungariket Norges regering

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(1)  OJ L 22, 24.1.2002, p. 34.

(2)  OJ L 171, 27.6.1973, p. 2.