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Freedom of transit

  1. 11 Freedom of transit
  2. 11 Paragraphs 1-3
    (transit charges, regulations, and formalities)
  3. 11 Paragraph 4
    (strengthened non-discrimination)
  4. 11 Paragraphs 5-10
    (transit, procedures and controls)
  5. 11 Paragraphs 11-15
    (guarantees)
  6. 11 Paragraphs 16-17
    (cooperation and coordination)
  7. ⚫⚫ Article 11 Resources

Freedom of transit

Paragraphs 1-3
(transit charges, regulations, and formalities)

What activity does this proposal regulate?

The regulations and formalities that a Member applies to traffic in transit

What authorities are directly concerned?

• Customs

• Transport Ministry

• Other Border Agencies

What are the new requirements?

• Regulations or formalities on transit shall be eliminated or reduced if no longer required or a less trade-restrictive solution becomes available, and they should not be applied in a manner that would be a disguised restriction on trade

• Charges that may be imposed on transit only for transit administrative procedures entailed or transit services provided, and shall be limited in amount to the expense of such procedures or cost of such services

• Members shall not seek, take or maintain voluntary restraints or similar measures on traffic in transit.

1.     Any regulations or formalities in connection with traffic in transit imposed by a Member shall not be:

(a) maintained if the circumstances or objectives giving rise to their adoption no longer exist or if the changed circumstances or objectives can be addressed in a reasonably available less trade restrictive manner;

(b) applied in a manner that would constitute a disguised restriction on traffic in transit.

2.     Traffic in transit shall not be conditioned upon collection of any fees or charges imposed in respect of transit, except the charges for transportation or those commensurate with administrative expenses entailed by transit or with the cost of services rendered.

3.     Members shall not seek, take or maintain any voluntary restraints or any other similar measures on traffic in transit. This is without prejudice to existing and future national regulations, bilateral or multilateral arrangements related to regulating transport, consistent with WTO rules.

Paragraph 4
(strengthened non-discrimination)

What activity does this proposal regulate?

Goods in transit and the vessels and transport means of other Members

What authorities are directly concerned?

• Customs

• Transport Ministry

• Other Border Agencies

What are the new requirements?

  • Treatment Preceding Transit: A Member shall not treat goods that will pass in transit through another Member’s territory to the final destination less favourably than if the goods were shipped to the destination without passing through that other Member’s territory.

4.     Each Member shall accord to products which will be in transit through the territory of any other Member treatment no less favourable than that which would be accorded to such products if they were being transported from their place of origin to their destination without going through the territory of such other Member.

Paragraphs 5-10
(transit, procedures and controls)

What activity does this proposal regulate?

Customs transit procedures and controls

What authorities are directly concerned?

  • Customs
  • Transport Ministry

What are the new requirements?

  • In processing and control of transit movements, a Member:
  • shall allow pre-arrival declaration
  • shall not apply formalities, documentation requirements or controls other than those necessary to identify the goods and ensure compliance with transit requirements
  • shall not apply customs charges, formalities or inspections other than at the offices of departure and destination (and not en-route)
  • shall not apply technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures on goods in transit
  • shall promptly terminate the transit operation once goods reach the office of exit, if all requirements are met
  • Members are encouraged to make separate lanes or similar infrastructure for transit in traffic.

5.         Members are encouraged to make available, where practicable, physically separate infrastructure (such as lanes, berths and similar) for traffic in transit.

6.         Formalities, documentation requirements, and customs controls in connection with traffic in transit shall not be more burdensome than necessary to:

            (a)        identify the goods; and

            (b)        ensure fulfillment of transit requirements.

7.         Once goods have been put under a transit procedure and have been authorized to proceed from the point of origination in a Member's territory, they will not be subject to any customs charges nor unnecessary delays or restrictions until they conclude their transit at the point of destination within the Member's territory.

8.         Members shall not apply technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures within the meaning of the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade on goods in transit.

9.         Members shall allow and provide for advance filing and processing of transit documentation and data prior to the arrival of goods.

10.       Once traffic in transit has reached the customs office where it exits the territory of the Member, that office shall promptly terminate the transit operation if transit requirements have been met.

Paragraphs 11-15
(guarantees)

What activity does this proposal regulate?

The use and discharge of guarantees that may be required by Customs in connection with transit operations

What authorities are directly concerned?

• Customs

What are the new requirements?

• Any guarantee that Customs requires for a transit movement:

• shall be limited to ensuring that requirements arising from such traffic in transit are fulfilled;

• shall be discharged by Customs without delay once the transit is completed; and

• shall, in a manner consistent with its laws and regulations, be comprehensive for same operators or maybe renewed by the trader thereafter.

• Information on how guarantees are set must be made available to the public.

• Customs may require a convoy to accompany goods only if the goods are high risk and so specified in the Member’s laws and regulations and published.

11.     Where a Member requires a guarantee in the form of a surety, deposit or other appropriate monetary or non-monetary[1] instrument for traffic in transit, such guarantee shall be limited to ensuring that requirements arising from such traffic in transit are fulfilled.

12.     Once the Member has determined that its transit requirements have been satisfied, the guarantee shall be discharged without delay.

13.     Each Member shall, in a manner consistent with its laws and regulations, allow comprehensive guarantees which include multiple transactions for same operators or renewal of guarantees without discharge for subsequent consignments.

14.     Each Member shall make publicly available the relevant information it uses to set the guarantee, including single transaction and, where applicable, multiple transaction guarantee.

15.    Each Member may require the use of customs convoys or customs escorts for traffic in transit only in circumstances presenting high risks or when compliance with customs laws and regulations cannot be ensured through the use of guarantees. General rules applicable to customs convoys or customs escorts shall be published in accordance with Article 1.


[1] Nothing in this provision shall preclude a Member from maintaining existing procedures whereby the means of transport can be used as a guarantee for traffic in transit.

 

Paragraphs 16-17
(cooperation and coordination)

Cooperation and Coordination

What activity does this proposal regulate?

Promotion of agreements and coordination on transit matters at a regional and bilateral level

What authorities are directly concerned?

• Customs

• Transport Ministry

• Other Border Agencies

What are the new requirements?

• Members must endeavour to cooperate and coordinate to enhance freedom of transit

• Members must endeavour to appoint a national transit coordinator to whom other Members can make enquires and proposals.

16.    Members shall endeavour to cooperate and coordinate with one another with a view to enhancing freedom of transit. Such cooperation and coordination may include, but is not limited to an understanding on:

(a) charges;

(b) formalities and legal requirements; and

(c) the practical operation of transit regimes.

17.    Each Member shall endeavour to appoint a national transit coordinator to which all enquiries and proposals by other Members relating to the good functioning of transit operations can be addressed.

Article 11 Resources