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Document 52020PC0267

Proposal for a COUNCIL DECISION on the position to be taken on behalf of the European Union in the Joint Committee established by the Agreement between the European Community, of the one part, and the Government of Denmark and the Home Government of the Faroe Islands, of the other part, as regards the adoption of the amendments to Protocols 1 and 4 to the Agreement

COM/2020/267 final

Brussels, 26.6.2020

COM(2020) 267 final

2020/0129(NLE)

Proposal for a

COUNCIL DECISION

on the position to be taken on behalf of the European Union in the Joint Committee established by the Agreement between the European Community, of the one part, and the Government of Denmark and the Home Government of the Faroe Islands, of the other part, as regards the adoption of the amendments to Protocols 1 and 4 to the Agreement


EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

1.Subject matter of the proposal

This proposal concerns a decision establishing the position to be taken on the Union's behalf in the Joint Committee, established under the Agreement between the European Community, of the one part, and the Government of Denmark and the Home Government of the Faroe Islands, of the other part, for the adoption of a decision of the Joint Committee amending Protocols 1 and 4 to the Agreement.

2.Context of the proposal

2.1.The Agreement

The Agreement between the European Community, of the one part, and the Government of Denmark and the Home Government of the Faroe Islands, of the other part (‘the Agreement’) was concluded by the European Community by Council Decision 97/126/EC 1 . The Agreement aims to promote through the expansion of reciprocal trade the harmonious development of economic relations between the Community and the Faroes, provide fair conditions of competition for trade between the Parties and contribute to the removal of barriers to trade. The Agreement entered into force on 1 January 1997.

2.2.The Joint Committee

The Joint Committee, established under Article 31(1) of the Agreement, is responsible for the administration of the Agreement and ensures its proper implementation. Article 34(1) of the Agreement empowers the Joint Committee to amend the provisions of the Protocols to the Agreement.

2.3.The envisaged act of the Joint Committee

Article 36 of the Agreement provides that, at the request of the Faroe Islands, the Union will consider improving the access possibilities for specific products and extending its tariff concessions for Faroese fishery products.

In line with the results of the negotiations between the European Commission and the Faroe Islands, as agreed at the 18th Joint Committee meeting that took place in Norðragøta, Faroe Islands, on 9 October 2019, the Joint Committee is to adopt a decision regarding amendments to Protocols 1 and 4 to the Agreement.

3.Position to be taken on the Union's behalf

The proposed amendments aim at increasing market access for both Parties as agreed on 9 October 2019 in the 18th Joint Committee meeting. There are three material amendments:

Protocol 1: Frozen and preserved brislings or sprats (CN codes 0303 53 90 and 1604 13 90) are added on the list of products in Table I of Annex to Protocol 1 to the Agreement, indicating preferential customs duties and other conditions to be applied on import into the Community of products originating in and coming from the Faroes. The Union will apply zero import duties to these products originating in the Faroe Island. The Faroe Island submitted this request to the Union in accordance with Article 36 of the Agreement and the Parties agreed to amend Protocol 1.

Protocol 4: Footnote 1 and paragraph 2 of Article 1 of Protocol 4 to the Agreement are deleted. Footnote 1 contains a restriction on added gluten in fish feed exported from the Faroe Islands to the Union, which applies to CN codes ex 2309 90 10, ex 2309 90 31 and ex 2309 90 41. Paragraph 2 refers to the certification and control requirements as regards the tariff quota opened for fish feed under CN codes ex 2309 90 10, ex 2309 90 31 and ex 2309 90 41. Faroe Islands initially made the request for deletion at the Joint Committee meeting in November 2017, arguing that the composition of fish feed for the aquaculture sector had developed greatly, making gluten a more important component.

Protocol 4: A new article is added establishing tariff quotas for meat goods exported from the Union to the Faroe Islands. In the framework of the above-mentioned negotiations, the Union requested an increase in market access for exports of Union’s sheep meat to the Faroe Islands. The Parties agreed to establish a tariff quota for a range of sheep products (CN codes 0204, 0206 80 99, 0206 90 99, 0210 90 11, 0210 90 60, ex 0210 90 90). The tariff quota, under which a zero import duty will apply, will be introduced gradually: 40 tonnes as of adoption of the envisaged act (i.e. 2020), and 80 tonnes as of three years after (i.e. 2023).

The Commission informed Member States about the outcome of these negotiations during the meeting of the Council Working Party on European Free Trade Association (EFTA), held on 24 October 2019.

4.Legal basis

4.1.Procedural legal basis

4.1.1.Principles

Article 218(9) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) provides for decisions of the Council establishing ‘the positions to be adopted on the Union’s behalf in a body set up by an agreement, when that body is called upon to adopt acts having legal effects, with the exception of acts supplementing or amending the institutional framework of the agreement.’

The concept of ‘acts having legal effects’ includes acts that have legal effects by virtue of the rules of international law governing the body in question. It also includes instruments that do not have a binding effect under international law, but that are ‘capable of decisively influencing the content of the legislation adopted by the EU legislature’ 2 .

4.1.2.Application to the present case

The Joint Committee is a body established by the Agreement. The act, which the Joint Committee is called upon to adopt, constitutes an act having legal effects. The envisaged act will amend Protocols 1 and 4 to the Agreement in accordance with Article 34(1) of the Agreement and those amendments will have binding effect on the Parties. The envisaged act does not supplement or amend the institutional framework of the Agreement.

Therefore, the procedural legal basis for the proposed decision is Article 218(9) TFEU.

4.2.Substantive legal basis

4.2.1.Principles

The substantive legal basis for a decision under Article 218(9) TFEU depends primarily on the objective and content of the envisaged act in respect of which a position is taken on the Union's behalf. If the envisaged act pursues two aims or has two components and if one of those aims or components is identifiable as the main one, whereas the other is merely incidental, the decision under Article 218(9) TFEU must be founded on a single substantive legal basis, namely that required by the main or predominant aim or component.

4.2.2.Application to the present case

The objective and content of the envisaged act relate to the common commercial policy. Therefore, the substantive legal basis of the proposed decision is Article 207 TFEU.

4.3.Conclusion

The legal basis of the proposed decision should be the first subparagraph of Article 207(4) TFEU, in conjunction with Article 218(9) thereof.

5.Publication of the envisaged act

As the act of the Joint Committee will amend Protocols 1 and 4 to the Agreement, it is appropriate to publish it in the Official Journal of the European Union after its adoption.

2020/0129 (NLE)

Proposal for a

COUNCIL DECISION

on the position to be taken on behalf of the European Union in the Joint Committee established by the Agreement between the European Community, of the one part, and the Government of Denmark and the Home Government of the Faroe Islands, of the other part, as regards the adoption of the amendments to Protocols 1 and 4 to the Agreement

THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular the first subparagraph of Article 207(4), in conjunction with Article 218(9) thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,

Whereas:

(1)The Agreement between the European Community, of the one part, and the Government of Denmark and the Home Government of the Faroe Islands, of the other part ('the Agreement'), was concluded by the European Community by Council Decision 97/126/EC 3 and entered into force on 1 January 1997.

(2)Pursuant to Article 34 of the Agreement, the Joint Committee may amend the provisions of the Protocols to the Agreement.

(3)Following negotiations, the Home Government of the Faroe Islands and the Union have agreed to amend certain provisions of Protocols 1 and 4 to the Agreement. These amendments aim at broadening the scope of market access for both Parties in selected products.

(4)The Joint Committee is to adopt a decision regarding the amendments to Protocols 1 and 4 to the Agreement.

(5)It is appropriate to establish the position to be taken on the Union's behalf in the Joint Committee, as the decision amending Protocols 1 and 4 to the Agreement will be binding on the Union,

HAS ADOPTED THIS DECISION:

Article 1

The position to be taken on the Union's behalf in the Joint Committee regarding amendments to Protocols 1 and 4 to the Agreement shall be based on the draft decision of the Joint Committee attached to this Decision.

Article 2

The decision of the Joint Committee shall be published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Article 3

This Decision is addressed to the Commission.

Done at Brussels,

   For the Council

   The President

(1)    Council Decision 97/126/EC of 6 December 1996 concerning the conclusion of an agreement between the European Community, of the one part, and the Government of Denmark and the Home Government of the Faroe Islands, of the other part (OJ L 53, 22.2.1997, p. 1).
(2)    Judgment of the Court of Justice of 7 October 2014, Germany v Council, C-399/12, ECLI:EU:C:2014:2258, paragraphs 61 to 64.
(3)    Council Decision 97/126/EC of 6 December 1996 concerning the conclusion of an agreement between the European Community, of the one part, and the Government of Denmark and the Home Government of the Faroe Islands, of the other part (OJ L 53, 22.2.1997, p. 1).
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Brussels, 26.6.2020

COM(2020) 267 final

ANNEX

to the

Proposal for a Council Decision

on the position to be taken on behalf of the European Union in the Joint Committee established by the Agreement between the European Community, of the one part, and the Government of Denmark and the Home Government of the Faroe Islands, of the other part, as regards the adoption of the amendments to Protocols 1 and 4 to the Agreement



DRAFT

DECISION No .../… OF THE EC/ FAROE ISLANDS JOINT COMMITTEE

of … 2020

amending Protocols 1 and 4 to the Agreement between the European Community, of the one part, and the Government of Denmark and the Home Government of the Faroe Islands, of the other part

THE JOINT COMMITTEE,

Having regard to the Agreement between the European Community, of the one part, and the Government of Denmark and the Home Government of the Faroe Islands, of the other part 1 , and in particular Article 34(1) thereof,

Whereas:

(1)Protocol 1 to the Agreement between the European Community, of the one part, and the Government of Denmark and the Home Government of the Faroe Islands, of the other part (‘the Agreement’) concerns the tariff treatment and arrangements applicable to certain fish and fishery products released for free circulation in the European Union or imported into the Faroe Islands. The Annex to Protocol 1 indicates the preferential customs duties and other conditions to be applied on imports into the European Union of products originating in and coming from the Faroe Islands.

(2)The Faroe Islands have submitted a request based on Article 36 of the Agreement that the CN codes 0303 53 90 and 1604 13 90 be added to the Annex to Protocol 1 to the Agreement. The European Union considers, after the examination of the relevant market, that these products could be imported free of duty into the European Union without quantitative restrictions.

(3)Protocol 4 to the Agreement concerns the special provisions applicable to imports of certain agricultural products other than those listed in Protocol 1.

(4)Under Article 1 of Protocol 4 to the Agreement, the European Union has initially granted tariff concessions for Faroese fish feed, in respect of an annual duty free tariff quota of 5 000 tonnes. This duty free tariff quota has been amended by Decision No 2/98 of the EC/Denmark-Faroe Islands Joint Committee 2 , increasing it to 10 000 tonnes as of 1 January 2000 and by Decision No 1/2007 of the EC/Denmark-Faroe Islands Joint Committee 3 , which increased it to 20 000 tonnes and provided that fish feed which benefits from the preferential import regime may not contain added gluten.

(5)The Faroe Islands requested to amend Protocol 4 to the Agreement by removing the restrictions on added gluten contained in fish feed that benefits from preferential treatment, as gluten has become an essential raw material in the fish feed composition.

(6)Article 2 of Protocol 4 to the Agreement lists the goods of European Union origin, falling within chapters 1 to 24 of the Harmonised System, for which the Faroe Islands does not grant freedom from tariffs and duties upon import into the Faroe Islands.

(7)The European Union requested that a duty free tariff quota be open for CN codes 0204, 0206 80 99, 0206 90 99, 0210 90 11, 0210 90 60, ex 0210 90 90, which are listed in Article 2 of Protocol 4. The Faroe Islands considers that a duty free tariff rate quota of 80 tonnes of European Union exports of these products could be granted, subject to three years transition period with a duty free tariff rate quota of 40 tonnes.

(8)Protocols 1 and 4 should therefore be amended accordingly,

HAS ADOPTED THIS DECISION:

Article 1

Table I of the Annex to Protocol 1 to the Agreement is amended as follows:

(1)Between CN code 0303 50 98 and CN code 0303 60 11 the following row is inserted:

‘0303 53 90

– – – Brisling or sprats (Sprattus sprattus)

0’

(2)Between CN code 1604 12 99 and CN code 1604 19, the following rows are inserted:

‘1604 13

1604 13 90

– – Sardines, sardinella and brisling or sprats

– – – Sardines:

– – – Other

0’

Article 2

Protocol 4 to the Agreement is amended as follows:

(1)Article 1 is replaced by the following:

‘Article 1

The European Union shall grant to products originating in and coming from the Faroes the following tariff quotas:

CN code

Description

Rate of duty

Tariff quota (TQ) in tonnes

0204

0206 80 99

0206 90 99

0210 90 11

0210 90 19

0210 90 60

ex 1601

ex 1602

Meat of sheep or goats, fresh, chilled or frozen

Edible offal of sheep and goats, fresh or chilled

Edible offal of sheep and goats, frozen

Meat of sheep or goats, salted, in brine, dried or smoked, with bone in

Meat of sheep or goats, salted, in brine, dried or smoked, boneless

Edible meat offal of sheep or goats, salted, in brine, dried or smoked

Sausages and similar products, of meat, meat offal or blood; food preparations based on these products:

— Of sheep and goats

Other prepared or preserved meat, meat offal or blood:

— Of sheep and goats

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

20

ex 2309 90 10

ex 2309 90 31

ex 2309 90 41

Fish feed

0

20 000

(2)the following Article 3 is added:

‘Article 3

The Faroes shall open the following tariff rate quotas for products originating in and coming from the European Union:

CN code

Description

Rate of duty

Tariff quota (TQ) in tonnes

0204

0206 80 99

0206 90 99

0210 90 11

0210 90 60

ex 0210 90 90

Meat of sheep or goats, fresh, chilled or frozen

Edible offal of sheep and goats, fresh or chilled

Edible offal of sheep and goats, frozen

Meat of sheep or goats, salted, in brine, dried or smoked, with bone in

Edible meat offal of sheep or goats, salted, in brine, dried or smoked

Edible flours and meals of meat and meal offal, of sheep and goats

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

40 in 2020, 2021 and 2022;

80 as from the year 2023

(3)Annex I is deleted.

Article 3

This Decision shall enter into force on the day of its adoption.

Done at …, ….

For the Joint Committee

The Chair

(1)    OJ L 53, 22.2.1997, p. 2.
(2)    OJ L 263, 26.9.1998, p. 37.
(3)    OJ L 275, 19.10.2007, p. 32.
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