2005/953/EC: Council Decision of 20 December 2005 on the conclusion of an agreement in the form of an Exchange of Letters between the European Community and Thailand pursuant to Article XXVIII of GATT 1994 relating to the modification of concessions with


Published: 2005-12-29

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L_2005346EN.01002401.xml

29.12.2005   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

L 346/24

COUNCIL DECISION

of 20 December 2005
on the conclusion of an agreement in the form of an Exchange of Letters between the European Community and Thailand pursuant to Article XXVIII of GATT 1994 relating to the modification of concessions with respect to rice provided for in EC Schedule CXL annexed to GATT 1994
(2005/953/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 26 June 2003, the Council authorised the Commission to open negotiations under Article XXVIII of the GATT 1994 with a view to modifying certain concessions for rice. Accordingly, the European Community notified the WTO on 2 July 2003 of its intention to modify certain concessions in EC Schedule CXL.

(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 negotiated with the United States of America, having a principal supplying interest in products of HS code 1006 20 (husked rice) and substantial supplier interest in products of HS code 1006 30 (milled rice), Thailand, having a principal supplying interest in products of HS code 1006 30 (milled rice) and substantial supplier interest in products of HS code 1006 20 (husked rice) and India and Pakistan, each having a substantial supplier interest in products of HS code 1006 20 (husked rice).

(4)

The agreements with India and with Pakistan have been approved on behalf of the Community by Decisions 2004/617/EC (1) and 2004/618/EC (2) respectively. A new tariff rate for husked rice (CN code 1006 20) and milled rice (CN code 1006 30) was fixed by Decision 2004/619/EC (3). The agreement with the United States was approved by Decision 2005/476/EC (4).

(5)

The Commission has now successfully negotiated an agreement in the form of an Exchange of Letters between the Community and Thailand which should therefore be approved.

(6)

In order to ensure that the agreement may be fully applied as from 1 September 2005 and pending the amendment of Council Regulation (EC) No 1785/2003 of 29 September 2003 on the common organisation of the market in rice (5), the Commission should be authorised to adopt temporary derogations from that Regulation and to adopt the necessary implementing measures.

(7)

The measures necessary for the implementation of this Decision should be adopted in accordance with Council Decision 1999/468/EC of 28 June 1999 laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission (6),
HAS DECIDED AS FOLLOWS:
Article 1
The agreement in the form of an Exchange of Letters between the European Community and Thailand pursuant to Article XXVIII of GATT 1994 relating to the modification of concessions with respect to rice provided for in EC Schedule CXL annexed to GATT 1994 is hereby approved on behalf of the Community.
The text of the agreement is attached to this Decision.
Article 2
1.   To the extent necessary to permit the full application of the agreement as from 1 September 2005, the Commission may derogate from Regulation (EC) No 1785/2003, in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 3(2) of this Decision, until that Regulation is amended and, in any event, no later than 30 June 2006.
2.   The Commission shall adopt the detailed rules for implementing the agreement in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 3(2) of this Decision.
Article 3
1.   The Commission shall be assisted by the Management Committee for Cereals instituted by Article 25 of Regulation (EC) No 1784/2003 (7).
2.   Where reference is made to this paragraph, Articles 4 and 7 of Decision 1999/468/EC shall apply.
The period provided for in Article 4(3) of Decision 1999/468/EC shall be one month.
3.   The Committee shall adopt its rules of procedure.
Article 4
The President of the Council is hereby authorised to designate the person(s) empowered to sign the agreement in order to bind the Community (8).

Done at Brussels, 20 December 2005.


For the Council


The President

M. BECKETT




(1)  OJ L 279, 28.8.2004, p. 17.

(2)  OJ L 279, 28.8.2004, p. 23.

(3)  OJ L 279, 28.8.2004, p. 29.

(4)  OJ L 170, 1.7.2005, p. 67.

(5)  OJ L 270, 21.10.2003, p. 96.

(6)  OJ L 184, 17.7.1999, p. 23.

(7)  OJ L 270, 21.10.2003, p. 78.

(8)  The date of entry into force of the agreement will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union by the General Secretariat of the Council.


AGREEMENT IN THE FORM OF AN EXCHANGE OF LETTERS

between the European Community and Thailand pursuant to Article XXVIII of GATT 1994 relating to the modification of concessions with respect to rice provided for in EC Schedule CXL annexed to GATT 1994
Brussels, 20 December 2005.
Sir,
Following negotiations between the European Community (EC) and the Kingdom of Thailand (Thailand) under Article XXVIII of GATT 1994 for the modification of concessions with respect to rice provided for in the EC Schedule CXL annexed to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 (GATT 1994), the EC agrees to the conclusions as outlined below.

1.
The bound rates of duty for husked rice (HS subheading 1006 20), for semi-milled and milled rice (HS subheading 1006 30) and for broken rice (HS subheading 1006 40) shall be respectively EUR 65/t, EUR 175/t and EUR 128/t.
2.
The EC shall apply a rate of duty for semi-milled and milled rice (HS subheading 1006 30) in accordance with paragraphs 3 to 6.
3.
The Annual Reference Import Level shall be calculated as the average volume of total semi-milled and milled rice imports entering the EC-25 from all origins in the marketing years (from 1 September to 31 August) 2001/02 to 2003/04 plus 10 % (i.e. 337 168 tonnes).
4.
Six-Month Reference Import Level: in each marketing year, a six-month reference import level shall be calculated as 47 % of the annual reference import level calculated in paragraph 3 (i.e. 158 469 tonnes).
5.
Mid-Year Adjustment to Applied Tariff Rate: within 10 days after the end of the first six months of each marketing year, the EC shall review and, if necessary, adjust the applied tariff rate as follows:
(a)

if actual semi-milled and milled rice imports for the just-completed six-month period are more than 15 % above the six-month reference import level for that period, as calculated under paragraph 4 above (i.e. more than 182 239 tonnes), the EC shall apply a tariff rate of EUR 175/t;

(b)

if actual semi-milled and milled rice imports for the just-completed six-month period are less than or equal to the six-month reference import level for that period, as calculated under paragraph 4 above, increased by 15 % (i.e. less than or equal to 182 239 tonnes), the EC shall apply a tariff rate of EUR 145/t.
For purposes of (a) and (b) above, actual semi-milled and milled rice imports are all imports entering the EC-25 from all origins under the HS subheading 1006 30.
6.
End-of-Year Adjustment to Applied Tariff Rate: within 10 days after the end of the marketing year, the EC shall review and, if necessary, adjust the applied tariff rate as follows:
(a)

if actual semi-milled and milled rice imports for the just-completed marketing year are more than 15 % above the annual reference import level for that 12-month period, as calculated under paragraph 3 above (i.e. more than 387 743 tonnes), the EC shall apply a tariff rate of EUR 175/t;

(b)

if actual semi-milled and milled rice imports for the just-completed marketing year are less than or equal to the annual reference import level for that 12-month period, as calculated under paragraph 3 above, increased by 15 % (i.e. less than or equal to 387 743 tonnes), the EC shall apply a tariff rate of EUR 145/t.
For purposes of (a) and (b) above, actual semi-milled and milled rice imports are all imports entering the EC-25 from all origins under the HS subheading 1006 30.
7.
TRQ: the EC shall open a new annual TRQ of 13 500 tonnes of semi-milled and milled rice of which 4 313 tonnes shall be allocated to Thailand. The in-quota rate shall be zero.
8.
Broken rice: for rice with HS subheading 1006 40, the EC shall apply an import duty of EUR 65/t.
9.
The volume of the current TRQ of broken rice shall be increased to 100 000 tonnes. The in-quota duty shall be equal to the duty of paragraph 8 above less 30,77 %.
10.
Data: the calculation of the annual and six-month actual import levels under paragraphs 5 and 6 shall be determined using EC rice imports license data. The EC shall publish these data on the Internet on a weekly basis.
11.
Transparency: the EC shall promptly provide public notice of any adjustment in the applied tariff rate.
12.
Consultation: at the request of either party, the parties shall, within 30 days of the receipt of such a request, enter into consultations on matters covered by this agreement.
13.
The provisions of this agreement shall be applicable as from 1 September 2005.
I would be grateful if you could confirm the agreement of your Government to the above.
Please accept, Sir, the assurance of my highest consideration.


On behalf of the European Community




Bangkok, 21 December 2005.
Sir,
I have the honour to acknowledge receipt of your letter of today’s date, worded as follows:
‘Following negotiations between the European Community (EC) and the Kingdom of Thailand (Thailand) under Article XXVIII of GATT 1994 for the modification of concessions with respect to rice provided for in the EC Schedule CXL annexed to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 (GATT 1994), the EC agrees to the conclusions as outlined below.

1.
The bound rates of duty for husked rice (HS subheading 1006 20), for semi-milled and milled rice (HS subheading 1006 30) and for broken rice (HS subheading 1006 40) shall be respectively EUR 65/t, EUR 175/t and EUR 128/t.
2.
The EC shall apply a rate of duty for semi-milled and milled rice (HS subheading 1006 30) in accordance with paragraphs 3 to 6.
3.
The Annual Reference Import Level shall be calculated as the average volume of total semi-milled and milled rice imports entering the EC-25 from all origins in the marketing years (from 1 September to 31 August) 2001/02 to 2003/04 plus 10 % (i.e. 337 168 tonnes).
4.
Six-Month Reference Import Level: in each marketing year, a six-month reference import level shall be calculated as 47 % of the annual reference import level calculated in paragraph 3 (i.e. 158 469 tonnes).
5.
Mid-Year Adjustment to Applied Tariff Rate: within 10 days after the end of the first six months of each marketing year, the EC shall review and, if necessary, adjust the applied tariff rate as follows:
(a)

if actual semi-milled and milled rice imports for the just-completed six-month period are more than 15 % above the six-month reference import level for that period, as calculated under paragraph 4 above (i.e. more than 182 239 tonnes), the EC shall apply a tariff rate of EUR 175/t;

(b)

if actual semi-milled and milled rice imports for the just-completed six-month period are less than or equal to the six-month reference import level for that period, as calculated under paragraph 4 above, increased by 15 % (i.e. less than or equal to 182 239 tonnes), the EC shall apply a tariff rate of EUR 145/t.
For purposes of (a) and (b) above, actual semi-milled and milled rice imports are all imports entering the EC-25 from all origins under the HS subheading 1006 30.
6.
End-of-Year Adjustment to Applied Tariff Rate: within 10 days after the end of the marketing year, the EC shall review and, if necessary, adjust the applied tariff rate as follows:
(a)

if actual semi-milled and milled rice imports for the just-completed marketing year are more than 15 % above the annual reference import level for that 12-month period, as calculated under paragraph 3 above (i.e. more than 387 743 tonnes), the EC shall apply a tariff rate of EUR 175/t;

(b)

if actual semi-milled and milled rice imports for the just-completed marketing year are less than or equal to the annual reference import level for that 12-month period, as calculated under paragraph 3 above, increased by 15 % (i.e. less than or equal to 387 743 tonnes), the EC shall apply a tariff rate of EUR 145/t.
For purposes of (a) and (b) above, actual semi-milled and milled rice imports are all imports entering the EC-25 from all origins under the HS subheading 1006 30.
7.
TRQ: the EC shall open a new annual TRQ of 13 500 tonnes of semi-milled and milled rice of which 4 313 tonnes shall be allocated to Thailand. The in-quota rate shall be zero.
8.
Broken rice: for rice with HS subheading 1006 40, the EC shall apply an import duty of EUR 65/t.
9.
The volume of the current TRQ of broken rice shall be increased to 100 000 tonnes. The in-quota duty shall be equal to the duty of paragraph 8 above less 30,77 %.
10.
Data: the calculation of the annual and six-month actual import levels under paragraphs 5 and 6 shall be determined using EC rice imports license data. The EC shall publish these data on the Internet on a weekly basis.
11.
Transparency: the EC shall promptly provide public notice of any adjustment in the applied tariff rate.
12.
Consultation: at the request of either party, the parties shall, within 30 days of the receipt of such a request, enter into consultations on matters covered by this agreement.
13.
The provisions of this agreement shall be applicable as from 1 September 2005.
I would be grateful if you could confirm the agreement of your Government to the above.
Please accept, Sir, the assurance of my highest consideration.’
Thailand has the honour of confirming its agreement with the content of this letter.
Please accept, Sir, the assurance of my highest consideration.


For the Kingdom of Thailand