Agreement between the European Community and the Republic of India on customs cooperation and mutual administrative assistance in customs matters


Published: 0000-00-00

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22004A0930(01)
 
Agreement between the European Community and the Republic of India
on customs cooperation and mutual administrative assistance in
customs matters
 
Official Journal L 304 , 30/09/2004 P. 0025 - 0031 
 
Dates:
of document:   28/04/2004; DATSIG
of effect:   01/11/2004; Entry into force See Art 22 And OJ L
354/2004 P. 29
of signature:   28/04/2004; Brussels
end of validity:   99/99/9999
 
Authentic language: The official languages ; German ; English ;
Danish ; Greek ; Finnish ; French ; Italian ; Dutch ; Portuguese ;
Swedish ; Spanish ; Other than Community language ; Hindi
Author:
European Community ; India
 
Subject matter: External relations ; Commercial policy ; Cooperation
Directory code: 11406000
EUROVOC descriptor: cooperation agreement ; India ; administrative
cooperation ; customs cooperation
 
Legal basis:
102E133-P1................ Adoption
102E300-P2L1FR1........... Adoption
Subsequent related instruments:
Relation...... 204X1130(01)......
Adopted by.... 304D0633..........
 
 
 
 
Agreement between the European Community and the Republic of India
on customs cooperation and mutual administrative assistance in
customs matters
 
THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY AND GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDIA
(HEREINAFTER REFERRED TO AS THE CONTRACTING PARTIES)
CONSIDERING the importance of the commercial links between the
European Community and India, and desirous of contributing, to the
benefit of both Contracting Parties, to the harmonious development
of those links;
BELIEVING THAT, in order to attain this objective, there should be
an undertaking to develop customs cooperation;
TAKING into account the development of customs cooperation between
the Contracting Parties, concerning customs procedures;
CONSIDERING that operations in breach of customs legislation, are
prejudicial to the economic, fiscal and commercial interests of both
Contracting Parties, and recognising the importance of ensuring the
accurate assessment of Customs duties and other taxes;
CONVINCED that action against such operations can be made more
effective by cooperation between competent administrative
authorities;
HAVING regard to obligations imposed under international conventions
already accepted by, or applied to the Contracting Parties; and
having regard also to the recommendations of the Customs Cooperation
Council (World Customs Organisation) on mutual administrative
assistance of 5 December 1953 , as well as Customs related
activities undertaken by the World Trade Organisation;
WHEREAS a Cooperation Agreement between the European Economic
Community and the Republic of India on Partnership and Development
was signed on 20 December 1993 ;
HAVE AGREED AS FOLLOWS:
TITLE I GENERAL PROVISIONS
Article 1
Definitions
For the purpose of this Agreement:
(a) ėCustoms legislation» shall mean any laws, provisions or other
legally binding instruments of the European Community or India,
governing the imports, export and transit of goods and their placing
under any other customs procedures, including measures of
prohibitions, restrictions and control falling under the competence
of the customs authorities and other administrative authorities;
(b) ėcustoms authority» shall mean, in the European Community, the
competent services of the Commission of the European Communities and
the customs authorities of the Member States of the European
Community and, in India, the Central Board of Excise and Customs in
the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance;
(c) ėapplicant authority» shall mean a competent administrative
authority which has been designated by a Contracting Party for this
purpose and which makes a request for assistance, on the basis of
this Agreement;
(d) ėrequested authority» shall mean a competent administrative
authority which has been designated by a Contracting Party for this
purpose and which receives a request for assistance, on the basis of
this Agreement;
(e) ėpersonal data» shall mean all information relating to an
identified or identifiable individual;
(f) ėoperation in breach of customs legislation» shall mean any
violation or attempted violation of the customs legislation;
(g) ėperson» shall mean any natural or legal person;
(h) ėinformation» shall mean data, whether or not processed or
analysed, and documents, reports, and other communications in any
format, including electronic, or certified or authenticated copies
thereof.
 
Article 2
Territorial application
This Agreement shall apply, on the one hand, to the territories
where the Treaty establishing the European Community is applied and
under the conditions laid down in that Treaty and, on the other
hand, to India.
Article 3
Future developments
The Contracting Parties may by mutual consent expand this agreement
with a view to increasing and supplementing customs cooperation in
accordance with their respective customs legislation, by means of
agreements on specific sectors or matters.
Article 4
Scope of the cooperation
1. The contracting parties undertake to develop customs cooperation.
In particular, the Contracting Parties shall seek to cooperate in:
(a) establishing and maintaining channels of communications between
their customs authorities to facilitate the secure and rapid
exchange of information;
(b) facilitating effective coordination between their customs
authorities;
(c) any other administrative matters related to this Agreement that
may from time to time require their joint action;
 
2. The contracting parties undertake also to develop trade
facilitation actions in the field of customs in accordance with
international standards.
3 Under this Agreement, customs cooperation shall cover all matters
relating to the application of customs legislation.
Article 5
Scope of assistance
1. The Contracting Parties shall assist each other, in the areas
within their competence and within the limits of available
resources, and in the manner and under the conditions laid down in
this Agreement, to ensure the correct application of customs
legislation, in particular by preventing, investigating and
combating operations in breach of that legislation.
2. Assistance in customs matters under this Agreement shall be
provided between the customs and other administrative authorities of
the Contracting Parties, which are competent for the application of
this Agreement. It shall not prejudice the rules governing mutual
assistance in criminal matters. Nor shall it cover information
obtained under powers exercised at the request of a judicial
authority.
3. Assistance to recover duties, taxes or fines is not covered by
this Agreement.
Article 6
Obligations imposed under other agreements
1. Taking into account the respective competencies of the European
Community and the Member States, the provisions of this Agreement
shall:
(a) not affect the obligations of the Contracting Parties under any
other international agreement or convention;
(b) be deemed complementary with agreements on customs cooperation
and mutual administrative assistance which have been or may be
concluded between individual Member States and India;
(c) not affect the Community provisions governing the communication
between the competent services of the Commission and the customs
authorities of the Member States of any information obtained under
this Agreement which could be of interest to the Community.
 
2. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 1, the provisions of
this Agreement shall take precedence over the provisions of any
bilateral agreement on customs cooperation and mutual administrative
assistance which has been or may be concluded between individual
Member States and India, insofar as the provisions of the latter are
incompatible with those of this Agreement.
3. In respect of questions relating to the applicability of this
Agreement, the Contracting Parties shall consult each other to
resolve the matter in the framework of the Joint Customs Cooperation
Committee set up under Article 21 of this Agreement.
TITLE II CUSTOMS COOPERATION
Article 7
Cooperation in customs procedures
The Contracting parties affirm their commitment to the facilitation
of the legitimate movement of goods and shall exchange information
and expertise on measures to improve customs techniques and
procedures and on computerised system with a view towards
implementing that commitment in accordance with the provisions of
this Agreement.
Article 8
Technical assistance
The customs authorities may provide technical assistance to each
other and exchange personnel and expertise on measures to improve
customs techniques and procedures and on computerised systems with a
view towards achieving these objectives in accordance with the
provisions of this Agreement.
Article 9
Discussions in international organisations
The customs authorities shall seek to develop and strengthen their
cooperation on topics of common interest with a view to facilitating
discussions on customs matters in the framework of international
organisations.
TITLE III MUTUAL ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANCE
Article 10
Assistance on request
1. At the request of the applicant authority, the requested
authority shall provide it with all relevant information which may
enable it to ensure that customs legislation is correctly applied,
including information regarding activities detected or planned which
are or could be operations in breach of customs legislation.
In particular, upon request, the Customs authority shall furnish to
each other information regarding activities that may result in
offences within the territory of the other Party, for example,
incorrect customs declarations and certificates of origin, invoices,
or other documents known to be, or suspected of being, incorrect or
falsified.
2. At the request of the applicant authority, the requested
authority shall inform it:
(a) whether goods exported from one of the Contracting Parties have
been properly imported into the other, specifying where appropriate,
the customs procedure applied to the goods;
(b) whether goods imported into one of the Contracting Parties have
been properly exported from the other, specifying where appropriate,
the customs procedure applied to the goods.
 
3. At the request of the applicant authority, the requested
authority shall, within the framework of its laws, regulations or
other legally binding instruments, take the necessary steps to
ensure special surveillance of;
(a) persons in respect of whom there are reasonable grounds for
believing that they are or have been involved in operations in
breach of customs legislation;
(b) places where stocks of goods have been or may be stored or
assembled in such a way that there are reasonable grounds for
believing that these goods are intended to be used in operations in
breach of customs legislation;
(c) goods that are or may be transported in such a way that there
are reasonable grounds for believing that they are intended to be
used in operations in breach of customs legislation;
(d) means of transport that are or may be used in such a way that
there are reasonable grounds for believing that they are intended to
be used in operations in breach of customs legislation.
 
Article 11
Spontaneous assistance
The Contracting Parties shall assist each other, at their own
initiative and in accordance with their laws, regulations or other
legally binding instruments, if they consider that to be necessary
for the correct application of customs legislation, in particular,
in situations that could involve substantial damage to the economy,
public health, public security, or similar vital interest of the
other party, particularly by providing information obtained
pertaining to:
(a) activities which are or appear to be operations in breach of
customs legislation and which may be of interest to the other
Contracting Party;
(b) new means or methods employed in carrying out operations in
breach of customs legislation;
(c) goods known to be subject to operations in breach of customs
legislation;
(d) persons in respect of whom there are reasonable grounds for
believing they are or have been involved in operations in breach of
customs legislation;
(e) means of transport in respect of which there are reasonable
grounds for believing that they have been, are, or may be used in
operations in breach of customs legislation.
 
Article 12
Delivery, notification
1. At the request of the applicant authority, the requested
authority shall, in accordance with laws, regulations or other
legally binding instruments applicable to the latter, take all
necessary measures in order:
(a) to deliver any documents of an administrative nature;
(b) to notify any decisions, emanating from the applicant authority
and falling within the scope of this Agreement, to an addressee
residing or established in the jurisdiction of the requested
authority.
 
2. Requests for delivery of documents or notification of decisions
shall be made in writing in an official language of the requested
authority or in a language acceptable to that authority. This
requirement shall not apply to any documents that are to be
delivered under paragraph 1.
Article 13
Form and substance of requests for assistance
1. Requests pursuant to this Agreement shall be made in writing.
They shall be accompanied by the documents necessary to enable
compliance with the request. When required because of the urgency of
the situation, an oral request may be accepted, but must be
confirmed immediately in writing.
2. Requests pursuant to paragraph 1 shall include the following
information:
(a) the applicant authority;
(b) the action requested;
(c) the object of and the reason for the request;
(d) the laws, regulations or other legally binding instruments
involved;
(e) indications as exact and comprehensive as possible on the
persons who are the target of the investigations;
(f) a summary of the relevant fact of the enquiries already carried
out.
 
3. Requests shall be submitted in an official language of the
requested authority or in a language acceptable to that authority.
This requirement shall not apply to any documents that accompany the
request under paragraph 1.
4. If a request does not meet the formal requirement set out above,
its correction or completion may be requested; precautionary
measures may be taken in the meantime.
Article 14
Execution of requests
1. In order to comply with a request for assistance, the requested
authority shall proceed, within the limits of its competence and
available resources, as though it were acting on its own account or
at the request of other authorities of that same Contracting Party,
by supplying information already possessed, by carrying out
appropriate enquiries or by arranging for them to be carried out.
This provision shall also apply to any other authority to which the
request has been addressed in accordance with this Agreement by the
requested authority when the latter can not act on its own.
2. Requests for assistance shall be executed in accordance with the
laws, regulations or other legally binding instruments of the
requested Contracting Party.
3. Duly authorised officials of a Contracting Party may, with the
agreement of the other Contracting Party and subject to the
conditions laid down by the latter, be present to obtain in the
offices of the requested authority or any other concerned authority
in accordance with paragraph 1, information related to activities
that are or may be operations in breach of customs legislation which
the applicant authority needs for the purpose of this Agreement.
4. Duly authorised officials of a Contracting Party may, with the
agreement of the other Contracting Party and subject to the
conditions laid down by the latter, be present at enquiries carried
out in the latter's jurisdiction into specific cases.
5. In the event that the request cannot be complied with, the
applicant authority shall be notified promptly of that fact, with a
statement of the reasons and of any other information that the
requested authority considers may be of assistance to the applicant
authority.
Article 15
Form in which information is to be communicated
1. The requested authority shall communicate results of enquiries to
the applicant authority in writing together with relevant documents,
certified copies or other items.
2. This information may be in computerised form.
3. Original files and documents shall be transmitted only upon
request in cases where certified copies would be insufficient. These
originals shall be returned at the earliest opportunity. The rights
of the requested authority or of third parties relating to the
originals shall remain unaffected.
Article 16
Exceptions to the obligation to provide assistance
1. Assistance may be refused or may be subject to the satisfaction
of certain conditions or requirements, in cases where a Party is of
the opinion that assistance under this Agreement would:
(a) be likely to prejudice the vital interests of India or those of
a Member State of the European Community which has been requested to
provide assistance under this Agreement;
(b) be likely to prejudice public order, security or other essential
principles, in particular those referred to under Article 17(2); or
(c) violate an industrial, commercial or professional secret.
 
2. Assistance may be postponed by the requested authority on the
ground that it will interfere with an ongoing investigation,
prosecution or proceedings. In such a case, the requested authority
shall consult with the applicant authority to determine if
assistance can be given subject to such terms or conditions as the
requested authority may require.
3. Where the applicant authority seeks assistance which it would
itself be unable to provide if so requested, it shall draw attention
to that fact in its request. It shall then be for the requested
authority to decide how to respond to such a request.
4. For the cases referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2, the decision of
the requested authority and the reasons thereof must be communicated
to the applicant authority without undue delay.
Article 17
Information exchange and confidentiality
1. Any information communicated in whatsoever form pursuant to this
Agreement shall be of a confidential or restricted nature, depending
on the rules applicable in each of the Contracting Parties. It shall
be covered by the obligation of official secrecy and shall enjoy the
protection extended to similar information under the relevant laws
of the Contracting Party that received it and the corresponding
provisions applying to the Community authorities.
2. Personal data may be exchanged only where the Contracting Party
which may receive it undertakes to protect such data in at least an
equivalent way to the one applicable to that particular case in the
Contracting Party that may supply it. The Contracting Party that may
supply the information shall not stipulate any requirements that are
more onerous than those applicable to it in its own jurisdiction.
The Contracting Parties shall communicate to each other information
on their applicable rules, including where appropriate, legal
provisions in force in the Member States of the Community.
3. Nothing in this Agreement shall preclude the use of information
or documents obtained in accordance with this Agreement as evidence
in proceedings or charges subsequently instituted before the courts
or tribunals in respect of operations in breach of customs
legislation. Therefore, the Contracting Parties may, in their
records of evidence, reports and testimonies and in proceedings and
charges which may subsequently be brought before the courts or
tribunals, use as evidence information obtained and documents
consulted in accordance with the provisions of this Agreement. The
competent authority which supplied that information or gave access
to those documents shall be notified of such use.
4. Information obtained shall be used solely for the purposes of
this Agreement. Where one of the Contracting Parties wishes to use
such information for other purposes, it shall obtain the prior
written consent of the authority which provided the information.
Such use shall then be subject to any restrictions laid down by that
authority.
5. Practical arrangements for the implementation of this Article
shall be determined by the Joint Customs Cooperation Committee
established under Article 21.
Article 18
Experts and witnesses
An official of a requested authority may be authorised to appear,
within the limitations of the authorisation granted, as an expert or
witness before an authority in the other Contracting Party regarding
the matters covered by this Agreement, and produce such objects,
documents or confidential or certified copies thereof as may be
needed for this purpose. The request for appearance must indicate
specifically before which authority the official will have to
appear, on what matters and by virtue of what title or qualification
the official will be questioned.
Article 19
Assistance expenses
1. The Contracting Parties shall waive all claims on each other for
the reimbursement of expenses incurred pursuant to this Agreement,
except, as appropriate, for expenses payable to experts and
witnesses, and those to interpreters and translators who are not
public service employees.
2. If during the execution of a request it becomes apparent that
completion of the execution of the request will entail expenses of
an extraordinary nature, the Customs authorities shall consult to
determine the terms and conditions under which the execution may
continue.
TITLE IV FINAL PROVISIONS
Article 20
Implementation
1. The implementation of this Agreement shall be entrusted to the
competent services of the Commission of the European Communities
and, where appropriate, the customs authorities of the Member States
of the European Community on the one hand, and to the Central Board
of Excise and Customs in Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance,
on the other. They shall decide on all practical measures and
arrangements necessary for its application, taking into
consideration the rules in force in particular in the field of data
protection. They may recommend to the competent bodies amendments
which they consider should be made to this Agreement.
2. The Contracting Parties shall consult each other and subsequently
keep each other informed of the detailed rules of implementation
which are adopted in accordance with the provisions of this
Agreement.
Article 21
Joint Customs Cooperation Committee
1. A Joint Customs Cooperation Committee is hereby established,
consisting of representatives of the European Community and of
India. It shall meet at a place, on a date and with an agenda, fixed
by mutual agreement.
2. The Joint Customs Cooperation Committee shall inter alia:
(a) see to the proper functioning of the Agreement;
(b) examine all issues arising from its application;
(c) take measures necessary for customs cooperation in accordance
with the objectives of this Agreement;
(d) exchange views on any points of common interest regarding
customs cooperation, including future measures and the resources for
them;
(e) recommend solutions aimed at attaining the objectives of this
Agreement.
 
3. The Joint Customs Cooperation Committee shall adopt its internal
rules of procedure.
4. The Joint Customs Cooperation Committee will report annually to
the Joint Commission set up under Article 22 of the Cooperation
agreement between the European Community and the Republic of India
on Partnership and Development.
Article 22
Entry into force and duration
1. This Agreement shall enter into force on the first day of the
month following the date on which the Contracting Parties have
notified each other of the completion of the procedures necessary
for this purpose.
2. Each Contracting party may terminate this Agreement by giving
notice to the other in writing. The termination shall take effect
three months from the day of notification to the other Contracting
Party. Requests for assistance which have been received prior to the
termination of the Agreement shall be completed in accordance with
the provisions of this Agreement.
Article 23
Authentic texts
This Agreement shall be drawn up in duplicate in the Danish, Dutch,
English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese,
Spanish, Swedish and Hindi languages, each text being equally
authentic.
In witness whereof, the undersigned, being duly authorised to do so,
have signed this Agreement.
Hecho en Bruselas, el veintiocho de abril de dos mil cuatro.
Udfördiget i Bruxelles den otteogtyvende april to tusind og fire.
Geschehen zu BrŽssel am achtundzwanzigsten April zweitausendundvier.
>ISO_7>øółżõ>ISO_1> >ISO_7>ėĮłĖ>ISO_1> >ISO_7>ĀęįžąūūõĖ>ISO_1>,
>ISO_7>ėĮłĖ>ISO_1> >ISO_7>õčś˙ėł>ISO_1> >ISO_7>˙śĮž>ISO_1>
>ISO_7>ĮĘęłūč˙į>ISO_1> >ISO_7>ōž˙>ISO_1> >ISO_7>šłūłĄōõĖ>ISO_1>
>ISO_7>Įąėėõęń>ISO_1>.
Done at Brussels on the twenty-eighth day of April in the year two
thousand and four.
Fait š Bruxelles, le vingt-huit avril deux mille quatre.
Fatto a Bruxelles, addü ventotto aprile duemilaquattro.
Gedaan te Brussel, de achtentwintigste april tweeduizendvier.
Feito em Bruxelas, em vinte e oito de Abril de dois mil e quatro.
Tehty Brysselissō kahdentenakymmenentenōkahdeksantena pōivōnō
huhtikuuta vuonna kaksituhattaneljō.
Som skedde i Bryssel den tjugoõttonde april tjugohundrafyra.
Por la Comunidad Europea
For Det Europöiske Föllesskab
FŽr die Europōische Gemeinschaft
>ISO_7>Ćłń>ISO_1> >ISO_7>Į÷ż>ISO_1>
>ISO_7>ÅįęųĘń>ISO_1>˙>ISO_7>śČ>ISO_1> >ISO_7>Ź˙łżŽĮ÷Įń>ISO_1>
For the European Community
Pour la Communautł europłenne
Per la Comunitš europea
Voor de Europese Gemeenschap
Pela Comunidade Europeia
Euroopan yhteisŠn puolesta
Põ Europeiska gemenskapens vōgnar
 
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Por la RepŪblica de la India
For Republikken Indien
FŽr die Republik Indien
>ISO_7>Ćłń>ISO_1> >ISO_7>Į÷>ISO_1> >ISO_7>Ä÷ü˙śęńĮčń>ISO_1>
>ISO_7>Į÷Ė>ISO_1> >ISO_7>ÉżōčńĖ>ISO_1>
For the Republic of India
Pour la Rłpublique de l'Inde
Per la Repubblica d'India
Voor de Republiek India
Pela RepŪblica da Ķndia
Intian tasavallan puolesta
FŠr Republiken Indien
 
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