Agreement with India
In order to limit the threats to their economic and financial interests, the European Union and India concluded an agreement aimed at simplifying customs measures and sharing experience and knowledge in the area of customs. Enhanced cooperation and better dialogue between the two parties would make the trading system more secure and have a positive impact on the fight against terrorism
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.
The aim of the Agreement is to facilitate effective cooperation between the administrative authorities responsible for applying customs legislation *. This is achieved by establishing channels of communication between the customs authorities to facilitate the secure and rapid exchange of information. The cooperation provided for in this Agreement may be increased and supplemented by means of agreements on specific sectors and matters.
The parties undertake to develop customs cooperation by:
- facilitating the legitimate movement of goods and exchanging information and expertise relating to customs techniques and procedures and computerised systems;
- providing technical assistance to each other;
- exchanging staff.
Mutual administrative assistance
The parties undertake to assist each other to ensure the correct application of customs legislation. The Agreement provides for two types of assistance:
- assistance on request: the requested authority * furnishes 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 such 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 countries.
The Agreement also provides that special surveillance may be requested where there are grounds for believing that persons, places, goods or means of transport are involved in operations in breach of customs legislation.
- spontaneous assistance: the parties assist each other if they consider that to be necessary for the correct application of customs legislation. In particular, they communicate to 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 and the persons who are the target 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, or involve currency or tax regulations other than customs legislation. 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 provides for the establishment of a Joint Customs Cooperation Committee which sees to the proper functioning of this Agreement and examines all issues arising from its application.
|Key terms used in the act|
|Act||Entry into force||Deadline for transposition in the Member States||Official Journal|
|Decision 2004/633/EC||30.3.2004||-||OJ L 304 of 30.9.2004|