Text of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement – Chapter six: Customs and trade facilitation

Article 6.1 – Objectives and principles

1. The Parties acknowledge the importance of customs and trade facilitation matters in the evolving global trading environment.

2. The Parties shall, to the extent possible, cooperate and exchange information, including information on best practices, to promote the application of and compliance with the trade facilitation measures in this Agreement.

3. Measures to facilitate trade shall not hinder mechanisms to protect a person through effective enforcement of and compliance with a Party's law.

4. Import, export and transit requirements and procedures shall be no more administratively burdensome or trade restrictive than necessary to achieve a legitimate objective.

5. Existing international trade and customs instruments and standards shall be the basis for import, export and transit requirements and procedures, except if these instruments and standards would be an inappropriate or ineffective means for the fulfilment of the legitimate objective pursued.

Article 6.2 – Transparency

1. Each Party shall publish or otherwise make available, including through electronic means, its legislation, regulations, judicial decisions and administrative policies relating to requirements for the import or export of goods.

2. Each Party shall endeavour to make public, including on the internet, proposed regulations and administrative policies relating to customs matters and to provide interested persons an opportunity to comment prior to their adoption.

3. Each Party shall designate or maintain one or more contact points to address inquiries by interested persons concerning customs matters and make available on the internet information concerning the procedures for making such inquiries.

Article 6.3 – Release of goods

1. Each Party shall adopt or maintain simplified customs procedures for the efficient release of goods in order to facilitate trade between the Parties and reduce costs for importers and exporters.

2. Each Party shall ensure that these simplified procedures:

  1. allow for the release of goods within a period of time no longer than that required to ensure compliance with its law;
  2. allow goods, and to the extent possible controlled or regulated goods, to be released at the first point of arrival;
  3. endeavour to allow for the expeditious release of goods in need of emergency clearance;
  4. allow an importer or its agent to remove goods from customs' control prior to the final determination and payment of customs duties, taxes, and fees. Before releasing the goods, a Party may require that an importer provide sufficient guarantee in the form of a surety, a deposit, or some other appropriate instrument; and
  5. provide for, in accordance with its law, simplified documentation requirements for the entry of low-value goods as determined by each Party.

3. Each Party, in its simplified procedures, may require the submission of more extensive information through post-entry accounting and verifications, as appropriate.

4. Each Party shall allow for the expedited release of goods and, to the extent possible and if applicable, shall:

  1. provide for advance electronic submission and processing of information before physical arrival of goods to enable their release upon arrival, if no risk has been identified or if no random checks are to be performed; and
  2. provide for clearance of certain goods with a minimum of documentation.

5. Each Party shall, to the extent possible, ensure that its authorities and agencies involved in border and other import and export controls cooperate and coordinate to facilitate trade by, among other things, converging import and export data and documentation requirements and establishing a single location for one-time documentary and physical verification of consignments.

6. Each Party shall ensure, to the extent possible, that its import and export requirements for goods are coordinated to facilitate trade, regardless of whether these requirements are administered by an agency or on behalf of that agency by the customs administration.

Article 6.4 – Customs valuation

1. The Customs Valuation Agreement governs customs valuation applied to reciprocal trade between the Parties.

2. The Parties shall cooperate with a view to reaching a common approach to issues relating to customs valuation.

Article 6.5 – Classification of goods

The classification of goods in trade between the Parties under this Agreement is set out in each Party's respective tariff nomenclature in conformity with the Harmonized System.

Article 6.6 – Fees and charges

Each Party shall publish or otherwise make available information on fees and charges imposed by a customs administration of that Party, including through electronic means. This information includes the applicable fees and charges, the specific reason for the fee or charge, the responsible authority, and when and how payment is to be made. A Party shall not impose new or amended fees and charges until it publishes or otherwise makes available this information.

Article 6.7 – Risk management

1. Each Party shall base its examination, release and post-entry verification procedures on risk assessment principles, rather than requiring each shipment offered for entry to be examined in a comprehensive manner for compliance with import requirements.

2. Each Party shall adopt and apply its import, export and transit requirements and procedures for goods on the basis of risk management principles and focus compliance measures on transactions that merit attention.

3. Paragraphs 1 and 2 do not preclude a Party from conducting quality control and compliance reviews that can require more extensive examinations.

Article 6.8 – Automation

1. Each Party shall use information technologies that expedite its procedures for the release of goods in order to facilitate trade, including trade between the Parties.

2. Each Party shall:

  1. endeavour to make available by electronic means customs forms that are required for the import or export of goods;
  2. allow, subject to its law, those customs forms to be submitted in electronic format; and
  3. if possible, through its customs administration, provide for the electronic exchange of information with its trading community.

3. Each Party shall endeavour to:

  1. develop or maintain fully interconnected single window systems to facilitate a single, electronic submission of the information required by customs and non-customs legislation for cross-border movements of goods; and
  2. develop a set of data elements and processes in accordance with the World Customs Organization ("WCO") Data Model and related WCO recommendations and guidelines.

4. The Parties shall endeavour to cooperate on the development of interoperable electronic systems, including taking account of the work at the WCO, in order to facilitate trade between the Parties.

Article 6.9 – Advance rulings

1. Each Party shall issue, upon written request, advance rulings on tariff classification in accordance with its law.

2. Subject to confidentiality requirements, each Party shall publish, for example on the internet, information on advance rulings on tariff classification that is relevant to understand and apply tariff classification rules.

3. To facilitate trade, the Parties shall include in their bilateral dialogue regular updates on changes in their respective laws and implementation measures regarding matters referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2.

Article 6.10 – Review and appeal

1. Each Party shall ensure that an administrative action or official decision taken in respect of the import of goods is reviewable promptly by judicial, arbitral, or administrative tribunals or through administrative procedures.

2. The tribunal or official acting pursuant to those administrative procedures shall be independent of the official or office issuing the decision and shall have the competence to maintain, modify or reverse the determination in accordance with the Party's law.

3. Before requiring a person to seek redress at a more formal or judicial level, each Party shall provide for an administrative level of appeal or review that is independent of the official or the office responsible for the original action or decision.

4. Each Party shall grant substantially the same right of review and appeal of determinations of advance rulings by its customs administration that it provides to importers in its territory to a person that has received an advance ruling pursuant to Article 6.9.

Article 6.11 – Penalties

Each Party shall ensure that its customs law provides that penalties imposed for breaches to it be proportionate and non-discriminatory and that the application of these penalties does not result in unwarranted delays.

Article 6.12 – Confidentiality

1. Each Party shall, in accordance with its law, treat as strictly confidential all information obtained under this Chapter that is by its nature confidential or that is provided on a confidential basis, and shall protect that information from disclosure that could prejudice the competitive position of the person providing the information.

2. If the Party receiving or obtaining the information referred to in paragraph 1 is required by its law to disclose the information, that Party shall notify the Party or person who provided that information.

3. Each Party shall ensure that the confidential information collected under this Chapter shall not be used for purposes other than the administration and enforcement of customs matters, except with the permission of the Party or person that provided that confidential information.

4. A Party may allow information collected under this Chapter to be used in administrative, judicial or quasi-judicial proceedings instituted for failure to comply with customs-related laws implementing this Chapter. A Party shall notify the Party or person that provided the information in advance of such use.

Article 6.13 – Cooperation

1. The Parties shall continue to cooperate in international fora, such as the WCO, to achieve mutually-recognised goals, including those set out in the WCO Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade.

2. The Parties shall regularly review relevant international initiatives on trade facilitation, including the Compendium of Trade Facilitation Recommendations developed by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, to identify areas where further joint action would facilitate trade between the Parties and promote shared multilateral objectives.

3. The Parties shall cooperate in accordance with the Agreement between Canada and the European Community on Customs Cooperation and Mutual Assistance in Customs Matters, done at Ottawa on 4 December 1997 (the "Canada-EU Customs Cooperation Agreement").

4. The Parties shall provide each other with mutual assistance in customs matters in accordance with the Canada-EU Customs Cooperation Agreement, including matters relating to a suspected breach of a Party's customs legislation, as defined in that agreement, and to the implementation of this Agreement.

Article 6.14 – Joint Customs Cooperation Committee

1. The Joint Customs Cooperation Committee, which is granted authority to act under the auspices of the CETA Joint Committee as a specialised committee pursuant to Article 26.2.1  (Specialised committees), shall ensure the proper functioning of this Chapter and the Protocol on Rules of Origin and Origin Procedures, as well as Article 20.43 (Scope of border measures) and Article 2.8 (Temporary suspension of preferential tariff treatment). The Joint Customs Cooperation Committee shall examine issues arising from their application in accordance with the objectives of this Agreement.

2. For matters covered by this Agreement, the Joint Customs Cooperation Committee shall comprise representatives of the customs, trade, or other competent authorities as each Party deems appropriate.

3. Each Party shall ensure that its representatives in Joint Customs Cooperation Committee meetings have an expertise that corresponds to the agenda items. The Joint Customs Cooperation Committee may meet in a specific configuration of expertise to deal with rules of origin or origin procedures matters either as the Joint Customs Cooperation Committee-Rules of Origin or the Joint Customs Cooperation Committee-Origin Procedures.

4. The Joint Customs Cooperation Committee may formulate resolutions, recommendations, or opinions and present draft decisions to the CETA Joint Committee that it considers necessary for the attainment of the common objectives and sound functioning of the mechanisms established in this Chapter and the Protocol on Rules of Origin and Origin Procedures, as well as Article 20.43 (Scope of border measures) and Article 2.8 (Temporary suspension of preferential tariff treatment).

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