EU-India customs agreement
Council Decision 2004/633/EC concluding the EU and India agreement on customs cooperation and mutual administrative assistance in customs matters
Agreement between the EU and India on customs cooperation and mutual administrative assistance in customs matters
WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE DECISION AND THE AGREEMENT?
The decision concerns the signing by the EU and India of an agreement which aims to simplify customs measures and to share experience and knowledge in the area of customs.
The aim of the agreement is to facilitate the legitimate movement of goods and the effective cooperation between the administrative authorities responsible for applying customs legislation*. This is achieved by setting up channels of communication between the customs authorities to facilitate the secure and rapid sharing of information. The cooperation provided for in the agreement may be increased and supplemented by means of agreements on specific sectors and matters.
The parties undertake to develop customs cooperation by:
making the legitimate movement of goods easier and exchanging information and expertise relating to customs techniques and procedures and computerised systems;
providing technical assistance to each other;
exchanging personnel and expertise.
Mutual administrative assistance
The parties undertake to assist each other to ensure the correct application of customs legislation. The agreement provides for 2 types of assistance:
- assistance on request: the requested authority* supplies the applicant authority* with all relevant information to enable it to ensure that customs legislation is correctly applied and to detect operations in breach of the legislation. The information may concern offences such as the presentation of incorrect or falsified documents and the regularity of export and import procedures between the two parties. Assistance may also be requested where there are grounds to believe that individuals, places, goods or means of transport are involved in breaches of legislation.
- spontaneous assistance: the parties assist each other if they consider that to be necessary for the correct application of customs legislation. In particular, at their own initiative they share with each other any information which can help to avoid substantial damage to the economy, public health or similar vital interests.
Formal aspects and exceptions to assistance
Requests must be made in writing, except in urgent cases where oral requests may be made, confirmed in writing thereafter. Requests must contain:
- data on the applicant authority;
- the measure requested;
- the object of and the reason for the request;
- all the legally binding instruments involved;
- details of the persons who are the subject of the investigation.
The requested party may refuse to provide assistance if to do so would be likely to prejudice the sovereignty, public policy, security or other essential interests of one of the parties. The obligation to provide assistance may also be waived where to do so would violate an industrial, commercial or professional secret. The requested party may also decide to postpone assistance on the ground that it interferes with an ongoing investigation, prosecution or proceedings.
The agreement contains confidentiality clauses in relation to the information supplied, which is covered by the obligation of professional secrecy. A high level of protection is given to personal data.
The agreement sets up a Joint Customs Cooperation Committee which oversees the operation of the agreement and examines all issues arising from its application.
FROM WHEN DOES THE DECISION APPLY?
The decision has applied since 30 March 2004. The agreement entered into force on 1 November 2004.
For more information, see:
Customs legislation: any rules adopted by the EU or India concerning the import, export and transit of goods and their placing under any other customs procedure, including measures of prohibition, restriction and control.
Requested authority: the competent customs authority which receives a request for assistance.
Applicant authority: the competent customs authority which makes a request for assistance.
Council Decision 2004/633/EC of 30 March 2004 concerning the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Community and the Republic of India on customs cooperation and mutual administrative assistance in customs matters (OJ L 304, 30.9.2004, p. 24)
Agreement between the European Community and the Republic of India on customs cooperation and mutual administrative assistance in customs matters (OJ L 304, 30.9.2004, pp. 25-31)
last update 07.11.2017