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2011/0032(NLE) - 27/10/2011 Final act

PURPOSE: to conclude an Agreement in the form of an Exchange of Letters between the European Union and Australia pursuant to Article XXIV:6 and Article XXVIII of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1994 relating to the modification of concessions in the schedules of Bulgaria and Romania in the course of their accession to the European Union.

NON LEGISLATIVE ACT: Council Decision 2011/768/EU on the conclusion of the Agreement in the form of an Exchange of Letters between the European Union and Australia pursuant to Article XXIV:6 and Article XXVIII of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1994 relating to the modification of concessions in the schedules of the Republic of Bulgaria and Romania in the course of their accession to the European Union.

BACKGROUND: with the accession of Bulgaria and Romania, the European Union has enlarged its customs union. Consequently, the EU was obliged under WTO rules (GATT Article XXIV: 6) to enter into negotiations with WTO Members having negotiating rights in the schedules of any of the acceding Members in order to agree on compensatory adjustment. Such adjustment is due if the adoption of the EU's external tariff regime results in an increase in tariff beyond the level for which the acceding country has bound itself at the WTO.

These negotiations have been concluded and an Agreement in the form of an Exchange of Letters between the European Union and Australia pursuant to Article XXIV:6 and Article XXVIII of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1994 relating to the modification of concessions in the schedules of Bulgaria and Romania in the course of their accession to the European Union was signed on 24 May 2011, subject to its conclusion at a later date, in accordance with Council Decision 2011/256/EU.

The Agreement should now be approved on behalf of the European Union.

CONTENT: this Council Decision approves, on behalf of the Union, the Agreement in the form of an Exchange of Letters between the European Union and Australia pursuant to Article XXIV:6 and Article XXVIII of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1994 relating to the modification of concessions in the schedules of Bulgaria and Romania in the course of their accession to the European Union. 

The implementing Regulation will be adopted by the Commission, pursuant to Article 144 of the Single Common Market Organisation (CMO) Regulation.

ENTRY INTO FORCE: the Decision enters into force on 27 October 2011. The Agreement will enter into force when all the procedures to this effect have been completed.