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EEC-China Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement

Under this agreement the EEC and China grant each other most-favoured nation status. The objectives are chiefly trade-related: promoting and stepping up trade; increasing economic cooperation and encouraging investment.

ACT

Council Regulation (EEC) No 2616/85 of 16 September 1985 concerning the conclusion of a Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement between the European Economic Community and the People's Republic of China.

Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement between the European Economic Community and the People's Republic of China.

SUMMARY

This Agreement replaces the trade agreement concluded between the European Economic Community (EEC) and the People's Republic of China on 3 April 1978. It aims to introduce a new stage, to promote and intensify trade and to encourage the steady expansion of economic cooperation in the mutual interest of both parties.

Trade cooperation

Both parties confirm their determination to encourage trade, improve its structure in order to diversify it, and take the necessary measures to facilitate it.

They grant each other most-favoured nation treatment in all matters regarding:

  • customs duties and charges of all kinds (including the procedures for the collection of such duties or charges) applied to the import, export, re-export, or transit of products;
  • regulations, procedures and formalities concerning customs clearance, transit, warehousing and transhipment of products imported or exported;
  • taxes and other internal charges levied directly or indirectly on products or services imported or exported;
  • administrative formalities for the issue of import or export licences.

There are, however, exceptions. This treatment is not applied to:

  • advantages accorded by the EEC or China to:

- states with which they share membership of a customs union or free trade area;

- neighbouring countries for the purpose of facilitating border trade;

  • measures which the EEC or China may take in order to meet their obligations under international commodity agreements.

The Agreement also aims to achieve a balance in trade; it therefore provides for any obvious imbalance to be examined by the Joint Committee with a view to recommendations.

China must give favourable consideration to EEC imports. The EEC, for its part, will gradually move towards greater liberalisation for imports from China. It will endeavour to expand the list of products that may be freely imported and increase the amount of quotas.

Provision is made for information to be exchanged before either party takes any action. In exceptional cases where rapid action is required, the two parties must hold friendly consultations as soon as possible before acting. Both parties are to ensure that in any event their actions do not prejudice the general objectives of the Agreement.

Trade in goods and the provision of services is to be effected at market-related prices and rates. Payments for the transactions may be made in any convertible currency accepted by the two parties concerned by the transactions.

Economic cooperation

In order to promote the development of their industry and agriculture, diversify their economic links, encourage scientific and technological progress, open up new sources of supply and new markets, help to develop their economies and raise their respective standards of living, the two parties agree to develop economic cooperation in:

  • industry and mining;
  • agriculture, including agro-industry;
  • science and technology;
  • energy;
  • transport and communication;
  • the protection of the environment;
  • cooperation in third countries.

The EEC and China will also encourage industrial and technical cooperation through, for instance, joint production, joint ventures, common exploitation, the transfer of technology, contacts and activities to promote exchanges between the business communities, seminars, cooperation between financial institutions, consultancy services, technical assistance and continuous exchange of information.

The parties also undertake to encourage investment, in particular by creating a favourable climate by providing investment promotion and protection arrangements.

The EEC states that it is prepared to continue its development activities in China in the context of development aid. The Member States are, for their part, entirely free to engage in bilateral activities in the field of economic cooperation and to conclude new economic cooperation agreements with China where appropriate.

Joint Committee

The Agreement establishes a Joint Committee made up of representatives of the contracting parties. It meets once a year, in Brussels and Beijing alternately, and is chaired by each party in turn. Extraordinary meetings may be convened and working parties set up. The Joint Committee's tasks are:

  • to monitor and examine the functioning of the Agreement;
  • to examine any questions that may arise in the implementation of the Agreement;
  • to examine issues that might hinder cooperation;
  • to examine new means and possibilities of developing trade and economic cooperation;
  • to make recommendations for achieving the objectives of the Agreement.

The Agreement was concluded for an initial period of five years and is renewed automatically every year provided neither of the contracting parties gives written notice of termination six months before its expiry. The Agreement is still in force in 2004.

REFERENCES

ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Council Regulation (EEC) No 2616/85 and Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement between the European Economic Community and the People's Republic of China.22.09.1985-OJ L 250 of 19.9.1985

RELATED ACTS

In 1994 and 2002 the Agreement was supplemented by exchanges of letters establishing broader political dialogue between the EU and China.

In 2003 the Commission adopted a policy paper on "A maturing partnership - shared interests and challenges in EU-China relations" [COM(2003) 533 final] which supplements and updates the 2001 Communication on " EU strategy towards China: Implementation of the 1998 communication and future steps for a more effective EU policy."

In 2006, the Commission proposed and made recommendations to strengthen the EU - China partnership in its Communication entitled 'EU - China: Closer partners, growing responsibilities', of 24 October 2006 [COM(2006) 631 final].

Council Decision of 16 November 2004 on the conclusion of an Agreement between the European Community and the Government of the People's Republic of China on cooperation and mutual administrative assistance in customs matters [Official Journal L 375 of 23 December 2004].

Agreement between the European Community and the Government of the People's Republic of China on cooperation and mutual administrative assistance in customs matters [Official Journal L 375 of 23 December 2004].

This agreement entered into force on 1 April 2005.

Last updated: 03.05.2007
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