Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/mediterranean/western Balkans : Member States Reach Compromise on Euro-Med Rules of Origin

Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/mediterranean/western Balkans : Member States Reach Compromise on Euro-Med Rules of Origin

Article excerpt

The permanent representatives of the EU member states reached an agreement, on 30 March, on signing the regional Convention on pan-Euro-Mediterranean preferential rules of origin'. A consensus among all 27 member states was achieved on the basis of the Hungarian EU Presidency's compromise proposal, which allowed them to overcome all outstanding issues that have blocked the agreement for several months in the Council. Now the file is expected to be adopted by the Council as an A point' (without discussion).

Harmonisation of rules of origin between the EU member states and 22 non-EU states, including South Mediterranean (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia and the Palestinian Authority of the West Bank and Gaza Strip) and Western Balkans countries (among others Kosovo) would reward competitive advantage and reduce red tape for trade.

"The Council decision to sign the regional convention means tangible economic value (preferential customs duty rates) for the countries of the South Mediterranean and the Western Balkans," said the Hungarian Presidency in a statement, issued on 30 March.

In practice, the agreement will make it easier to determine the cumulated added value produced in more than one country in the region. It will allow the value added produced in the countries of the region to be added together when determining whether a certain product complies with the threshold for preferential treatment.

In addition, this single convention will make it easier to introduce amendments to it. …

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