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Document 52003PC0072

Proposal for a Council Decision on the signature and conclusion of a Protocol adjusting the trade aspects of the Europe Agreement establishing an association between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Poland, of the other part, to take account of the outcome of negotiations between the parties on new mutual agricultural concessions

/* COM/2003/0072 final - ACC 2003/0031 */

52003PC0072

Proposal for a Council Decision on the signature and conclusion of a Protocol adjusting the trade aspects of the Europe Agreement establishing an association between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Poland, of the other part, to take account of the outcome of negotiations between the parties on new mutual agricultural concessions /* COM/2003/0072 final - ACC 2003/0031 */


Proposal for a COUNCIL DECISION on the signature and conclusion of a Protocol adjusting the trade aspects of the Europe Agreement establishing an association between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Poland, of the other part, to take account of the outcome of negotiations between the parties on new mutual agricultural concessions

(presented by the Commission)

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

On 30 March 1999, the Council authorised the Commission to open negotiations for additional mutual agricultural concessions in the framework of the Europe Agreements between the European Community and the associated Central and Eastern European Countries.

The negotiations with the Republic of Poland, which were undertaken in the overall context of the accession process, were based on Article 20(5) of the Europe Agreement. This Article provides that the Community and Poland shall examine in the Association Council, product by product and on an orderly and reciprocal basis, the possibility of granting each other further concessions, taking account of the volume of trade in agricultural products between them, of their particular sensitivity, of the rules of the common agricultural policy of the Community and of the role of agriculture in Poland's economy.

According to the Council directives, the negotiations should lead to a fair equilibrium, both in terms of exports and imports, between the interests of the European Community and its Member States and those of the associated countries. On this basis, negotiations were undertaken and concluded between the Parties on 23 December 2002.

The results of the negotiations between the Commission and Poland on additional agricultural concessions involve immediate, full and reciprocal liberalisation of trade in some agricultural products. Agreement was also reached on opening new tariff quotas in certain sectors and increasing certain previously existing quotas.

On 9 July 2002, the Commission submitted a proposal for a Council Decision relating to the conclusion of an Additional Protocol adjusting the trade aspects of the Europe Agreement establishing an association between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Poland, of the other part, to take account of the outcome of the negotiations between the parties on new mutual agricultural concessions (COM(2002) 363). This proposal, which has not yet been adopted, will now be withdrawn and replaced by the present proposal which incorporates all agricultural concessions (i.e. both old and new) between the Community and Poland.

Both sides implemented the results of the first round of negotiations on an autonomous and transitional basis from 1 January 2001. On the Community side, the new concessions were brought into effect by Council Regulation (EC) No°2851/2000 of 22 December 2000. The present Protocol will replace these autonomous and transitional measures on the day of its entry into force.

The present Protocol will form an integral part of the Europe Agreement with Poland. The Protocol will automatically lapse, along with the Europe Agreement, on the date of accession of Poland to the European Union.

2003/0031 (ACC)

Proposal for a COUNCIL DECISION on the signature and conclusion of a Protocol adjusting the trade aspects of the Europe Agreement establishing an association between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Poland, of the other part, to take account of the outcome of negotiations between the parties on new mutual agricultural concessions

THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 133, in conjunction with Article 300(2), subparagraph 1, first sentence, thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission [1],

[1] OJ C ..., ..., p. ...

Whereas:

(1) The Europe Agreement establishing an association between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Poland, of the other part [2], provides for certain reciprocal trade concessions for certain agricultural products.

[2] OJ L 348, 31.12.1993, p. 2.

(2) Article 20(5) of the Europe Agreement provides that the Community and Poland shall examine product by product and on an orderly and reciprocal basis the possibilities of granting each other further concessions.

(3) The first improvements to the preferential arrangements of the Europe Agreement with Poland were provided for in the Protocol adjusting trade aspects of the Europe Agreement to take account of the accession of the Republic of Austria, the Republic of Finland and the Kingdom of Sweden to the European Union and the outcome of the Uruguay Round negotiations on agriculture, including improvements to the existing preferential arrangements, approved by Council Decision 2002/63/EC [3].

[3] OJ L 27, 30.01.2002, p. 1.

(4) Improvements to the preferential arrangements were also provided for as a result of negotiations to liberalise agricultural trade concluded in 2000. On the Community side, these were implemented from 1 January 2001 by Regulation (EC) No 2851/2000 establishing certain concessions in the form of Community tariff quotas for certain agricultural products and providing for an adjustment, as an autonomous and transitional measure, of certain agricultural concessions provided for in the Europe Agreement with Poland [4]. This second adjustment of the preferential arrangements has not yet been incorporated in the Europe Agreement in the form of an Additional Protocol.

[4] OJ L 332, 28.12.2000, p. 7.

(5) Negotiations for further improvements to the preferential arrangements of the Europe Agreement with Poland were concluded on 23 December 2002.

(6) The new Additional Protocol to the Europe Agreement adjusting the trade aspects of the Europe Agreement between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and Poland, of the other part (hereinafter referred to as "the Protocol") should be approved with a view to consolidating all concessions in agricultural trade between the two sides, including the results of the negotiations concluded in 2000 and 2002.

(7) Commission Regulation (EEC) No 2454/93 of 2 July 1993 laying down provisions for the implementation of Council Regulation (EEC) No 2913/92 establishing the Community Customs Code [5] has codified the management rules for tariff quotas designed to be used following the chronological order of dates of customs declarations. Certain tariff quotas under this Decision should therefore be administered in accordance with those rules.

[5] OJ L 253, 11.10.1993, p. 1. Regulation last amended by Regulation (EC) No 444/2002 (OJ L 68, 12.3.2002 p. 11).

(8) Further measures necessary for the implementation of this Decision should be adopted in accordance with the management committee procedure of Decision 1999/468/EC of 28 June 1999 laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission [6].

[6] OJ L 184, 17.7.1999, p. 23.

(9) As a result of the aforementioned negotiations, Regulation (EC) No 2851/2000 has effectively lost its substance and should therefore be repealed.

HAS DECIDED AS FOLLOWS:

Article 1

The attached Protocol adjusting the trade aspects of the Europe Agreement establishing an association between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Poland, of the other part, to take account of the outcome of negotiations between the parties on new mutual agricultural concessions, is hereby approved on behalf of the Community.

Article 2

The President of the Council is authorised to designate the person empowered to sign the Protocol on behalf of the Community and make the notification of approval provided for in Article 3 of the Protocol.

Article 3

The Commission shall adopt rules for the application of the Protocol in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 5.

Article 4

The order numbers as attributed to the tariff quotas in the Annex to this Decision may be changed by the Commission in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 5. Tariff quotas with an order number above 09.5100 shall be administered by the Commission in accordance with Articles 308a, 308b and 308c of Regulation (EEC) No 2454/93.

Article 5

1. The Commission shall be assisted by the Committee for Sugar instituted by Article 42 of Regulation (EEC) No 1260/2001 [7] or, where appropriate, by the committee instituted by the relevant provisions of the other Regulations on the common organisation of agricultural markets.

[7] OJ L 178, 30.6.2001, p. 1.

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.

Article 6

Regulation (EC) No 2851/2000 is hereby repealed from the entry into force of the Protocol.

Done at Brussels,

For the Council

The President

ANNEX Order numbers for EU tariff quotas for products originating in Poland (as referred to in Article 4)

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PROTOCOL

adjusting the trade aspects of the Europe Agreement establishing an association between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Poland, of the other part, to take account of the outcome of negotiations between the parties on new mutual agricultural concessions

THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY, hereinafter referred to as «the Community»,

of the one part, and

THE REPUBLIC OF POLAND,

of the other part,

WHEREAS:

(1) The Europe Agreement establishing an association between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Poland, of the other part (hereinafter referred to as "the Europe Agreement") was signed in Brussels on 16 December 1991 and entered into force on 1 February 1994 [8].

[8] OJ L 348, 31.12.1993, p. 2.

(2) Article 20(5) of the Europe Agreement provides that the Community and the Republic of Poland shall examine in the Association Council, product by product and on an orderly and reciprocal basis, the possibility of granting each other additional agricultural concessions. On this basis negotiations have been undertaken and were concluded between the parties.

(3) For the first time, improvements to the preferential agricultural regime of the Europe Agreement were provided for in the Protocol adjusting trade aspects of the Europe Agreement [9] to take account of the last enlargement of the Community and the outcome of the GATT Uruguay Round.

[9] OJ L 27, 30.01.2002, p. 2.

(4) Two further rounds of negotiations for improved agricultural trade concessions were concluded on 26 September 2000 and 23 December 2002.

(5) From the one side, the Council decided, by virtue of Regulation (EC) No 2851/2000 [10], to apply on a provisional basis, as from 1 January 2001, the European Community concessions resulting from the 2000 round of negotiations and from the other side the Government of Poland took legislative provisions to apply, as from the same date of 1 January 2001, the equivalent Polish concessions (Ordinance No 1253/2000, 1273/2000 and 1274/2000 [11]).

[10] OJ L 332, 28.12.2000, p. 7.

[11] Published in the Polish "Official Journal" 119/2000 of 28.12.2000 and 120/2000 of 29.12.2000.

(6) The above mentioned concessions will be supplemented and replaced on the date of entry into force of this Protocol by the concessions provided for herein,

HAVE AGREED AS FOLLOWS:

Article 1

The arrangements for import into the Community applicable to certain agricultural products originating in Poland as set out in Annex A(a) and A(b) and the arrangements for import into Poland applicable to certain agricultural products originating in the Community as set out in Annex B(a) and B(b) to this Protocol shall replace those set out in Annexes VIII and IX as referred to in Article 20(2) and 20(4), as amended, of the Europe Agreement establishing an association between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and Poland, of the other part.

Article 2

The Annexes to this Protocol shall form an integral part thereof. This Protocol shall form an integral part of the Europe Agreement.

Article 3

This Protocol shall be approved by the Community and the Republic of Poland in accordance with their own procedures. The Contracting Parties shall take the necessary measures to implement this Protocol.

The Contracting Parties shall notify each other of the accomplishment of the corresponding procedures according to the first paragraph hereof.

Article 4

This Protocol shall enter into force on the first day of the first month following the Contracting Parties' notification of the accomplishment of the corresponding procedures according to Article 3.

Quantities of goods subject to tariff quotas and released for free circulation as from 1 July 2002 under the concessions provided for in Annex A(b) to Regulation (EC) No 2851/2000 shall be fully counted against the quantities provided for in Annex A(b) to the attached Protocol, except for quantities for which import licences were issued before 1 July 2002.

Similarly, quantities of goods subject to tariff quotas and released for free circulation as from 1 July 2002 or 1 January 2003 under the concessions provided for in Regulation of the Council of Ministers of 24 September 2002 [12] and Regulation of the Minister of Economy of 17 December 2002 [13] shall be fully counted against the quantities provided for in Annex B(b) to the attached Protocol, except for quantities for which import licences were issued before 1 July 2002 or 1 January 2003.

[12] Published in the Polish "Official Journal" 157 of 24.9.2002, pos. 1310, p. 10111.

[13] Published in the Polish "Official Journal" 227 of 23.12.2002, pos. 1897, p. 14323 and pos. 1898, p. 14335.

Article 5

This Protocol shall be drawn up in duplicate in the Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish and Polish languages, each of these texts being equally authentic.

Done at Brussels,

For the European Community For the Republic of Poland

ANNEX A(a)

Custom duties on imports applicable in the Community to products originating in Poland and listed below shall be abolished

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(1) As defined in Commission Regulation (EC) No 1832/2002 of 1 August 2002, amending Annex I to Council Regulation (EEC) No 2658/87 on the tariff and statistical nomenclature and on the Common Customs Tariff (OJ L 290, 28.10.2002, p. 1).

ANNEX A(b)

Imports into the Community of the following products originating in Poland shall be subject to the concessions set out below

(MFN = Most Favoured Nation duty)

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(1) Notwithstanding the rules for the interpretation of the Combined Nomenclature, the wording of the description of the products is to be considered as having no more than indicative value, the preferential scheme being determined, within the context of this Annex, by the coverage of the CN code. Where ex CN codes are indicated, the preferential scheme is to be determined by application to the CN code and corresponding description taken together.

(2) In cases where an MFN minimum duty exits, the applicable minimum duty is equal to the MFN minimum duty multiplied by the percentage indicated in this column.

(3) The quota for this product is opened for Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and the Slovak Republic. Where it appears likely that total Community imports of live bovine animals may exceed 500 000 head in a given marketing year the Community may take the management measures needed to protect its market, notwithstanding any other rights given under the Agreement.

(4) The quota for this product is opened for Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and the Slovak Republic.

(5) Excluding tenderloin presented alone.

(6) Products for which Poland will not grant any export subsidies for all exports to the EU.

(7) In dried egg equivalent (100 kg liquid egg = 25.7 kg of dried egg).

(8) The reduction applies only to the ad valorem part of the duty.

(9) Subject to minimum import price arrangements contained in the Appendix to the present Annex.

(10) Co-efficient for conversion to fresh meat = 2,14, providing meat content is > 60%.

(11) In addition to the reduction of the ad valorem part of the duty, five additional stages (10%, 12%, 14%, 16% and 18%) are herewith introduced which have to be used before the application of the full specific duty as mentioned in the Combined Nomenclature.

(12) In addition to the reduction of the ad valorem part of the duty, three additional stages (10%, 12% and 14%), are herewith introduced which have to be used before the application of the full specific duty as mentioned in the Combined Nomenclature.

(13) For these CN-codes, the following concessions - applicable for apples imported within, as well as outside, the tariff quota - should be applied:

- five additional stages (10%, 12%, 14%, 16% and 18%) are herewith introduced for the period 1 January to 14 February, which have to be used before the application of the full specific duty as mentioned in the Combined Nomenclature;

- three additional stages (14%, 16% and 18%) are herewith introduced for the period 15 February to 31 March, which have to be used before the application of the full specific duty as mentioned in the Combined Nomenclature;

- two additional stages (16% and 18%) are herewith introduced for the period 1 April to 15 July, which have to be used before the application of the full specific duty as mentioned in the Combined Nomenclature;

- five additional stages (10%, 12%, 14%, 16% and 18%) are herewith introduced for the period 16 July to 31 December, which have to be used before the application of the full specific duty as mentioned in the Combined Nomenclature.

(14) Entry under this subheading is subject to conditions laid down in the relevant Community provisions (see Articles 291 to 300 of Commission Regulation (EEC) No 2454/93 (OJ L 253, 11.10.1993, p. 71) and subsequent amendments).

(15) Quantities of goods subject to this existing tariff quota and released for free circulation as from 1 July 2002 before the entry into force of this Protocol shall be fully counted against the quantity provided for in the fourth column.

APPENDIX TO ANNEX A(b) Minimum import price arrangement for certain soft fruit for processing

1. Minimum import prices are fixed as follows for the following products for processing originating in Poland:

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2. The minimum import prices, as set out in point 1, will be respected on a consignment by consignment basis. In the case of a customs declaration value being lower than the minimum import price, a countervailing duty will be charged equal to the difference between the minimum import price and the customs declaration value.

3. If the import prices of a given product covered by this Appendix show a trend suggesting that the prices could go below the level of the minimum import prices in the immediate future, the European Commission will inform the Polish authorities in order to enable them to correct the situation.

4 At the request of either the Community or Poland, the Association Committee shall examine the functioning of the system or the revision of the level of the minimum import prices. If appropriate, the Association Committee shall take the necessary decisions.

5. To encourage and promote the development of trade and for the mutual benefit of all parties concerned, a consultation meeting will be organised three months before the beginning of each marketing year in the European Community. This consultation meeting will take place between the European Commission and the interested European producers' organisations for the products concerned, of the one part and the authorities', producers' and exporters' organisations of all the associated exporting countries, of the other part.

During this consultation meeting, the market situation for soft fruit including, in particular, forecasts for production, stock situation, price evolution and possible market development, as well as possibilities to adapt supply to demand, will be discussed.

ANNEX B(a)

Custom duties on imports applicable in Poland to products originating in the Community and listed below shall be abolished

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(1) As defined by the Polish Customs Tariff - Annex to Council of Ministers Regulation of 17 December 2002 (Dz.U. No. 226 item 1885, 23 December 2002).

ANNEX B(b)

Imports into Poland of the following products originating in the Community shall be subject to the concessions set out below

(MFN = Most Favoured Nation duty)

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(1) Notwithstanding the rules for the interpretation of Polish Combined Nomenclature (PCN), the wording of the description of the products should be regarded as indicative; the applicability of the preferential arrangements is determined, in the context of this Annex, by the coverage of the PCN codes.

(2) Heifers of a weight exceeding 220 kg.

(3) Excluding tenderloin presented alone.

(4) Rate of duty applicable. If the applied MFN duty rate ad valorem for this product is reduced, the preferential duty rate ad valorem set out in the 3rd column will be reduced by the same proportion. If the applied MFN minimum/specific duty rate is reduced below the preferential minimum/specific duty, the latter will be reduced to the same level.

(5) Products for which the EU will not grant any export refunds for all exports to Poland.

(6) Within the framework of the Polish WTO tariff quota.

(7) Quantities of goods subject to this existing tariff quota and released for free circulation as from 1 January 2003 or as from 1 July 2002 in the case of PCN code 1001 90, before the entry into force of this Protocol shall be fully counted against the quantity provided for in the fourth column.

(8) This quota is managed on a marketing year 1 July-30 June. Therefore the quantity indicated in column 4 is available from 1 July 2002 to30 June 2003. The quantity indicated in column 5 is available from 1 July 2003 to 30 June 2004.

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