Committee on Customs Valuation - Minutes of the meeting of 27 June 2014 and the resumed meeting of 23 July 2014
作者:Committee on Customs Valuation

The resumed meeting of 23 July 2014

Chairperson:  Ms. Joanna K.Y. CHEUNG (Hong Kong, China)


The agenda proposed for the meeting, circulated in WTO/AIR/4306, was adopted as follows:





The agenda was adopted by the Committee on 27 June 2014.  The discussion of item 1 was suspended and subsequently resumed on 23 July 2014.






1.1.1  Meeting of 27 June 2014

1.1.  The Chairperson began by noting that there had been an error in the name of the first agenda item, which should read "Proposal to hold an informal workshop on the use of customs valuation databases".  The proposal in document G/VAL/W/231/Rev.1 had been discussed at the formal meeting which had taken place on 12 May 2014, but some delegations had requested additional time to assess the proposal. For this reason, Members had agreed to discuss it again by organizing a formal meeting before the end of June.

1.2.  A first informal consultation had been held on 21 June 2014 where all interested delegations had been invited.  At that meeting, the delegations of Argentina and India had made textual suggestions and comments on the proposal.  The delegations of Argentina; China; and India had subsequently deliberated upon the possible revision of language of the paragraph on the "purpose and objective" of the workshop, and submitted comments and suggestions which had been circulated to Members in a fax dated 23 June 2014.  French and Spanish translations had been faxed to delegations on 25 June 2014.  On 26 June, the delegations of Australia; Canada; Chinese Taipei; the European Union; and the United States had proposed changes to the suggestions and comments made by the delegations of Argentina, China and India, which had been faxed to Members on the same day.

1.3.  A second informal consultation had been convened by the Chairperson on 27 June with a view to exploring preliminary reactions to the different textual proposals that had been circulated.  Members present at that informal consultation had expressed divergent views and had not been able to agree on a common understanding.  The differences revolved mainly around two issues. Firstly, the purpose and objective of the workshop. Secondly, the question of how best to reflect the fact that there would be no recommendations, outcomes, next steps, or automatic inclusion of any item on the agenda of the Committee, while at the same time ensuring that Members' individual right to request the inclusion of an item in the agenda would not be affected.

1.4.  Because delegations had not had enough time to discuss the issue with their capitals, the Chairperson proposed to suspend the meeting after dealing with the "other business" item. She also requested delegations to submit textual proposals or amendments to the text no later than 30 June 2014. Any submission would be translated, if necessary, and circulated in the same manner as the previous texts.  The Chairperson would then convene further informal consultations with interested delegations, and send a fax reconvening the formal meeting once a clearer picture had emerged.  In case delegations present at the consultations could reach a common understanding on a text, it would be circulated to Members in the three official languages at least one week before reconvening in a resumed meeting. She stressed that the Committee would only adopt it in the formal meeting, so Members would retain their right to make comments or propose modifications at the resumed session.

1.5.  The representative of Argentina requested the Chairperson to circulate in writing the proposed course of action, through fax or email, to all Members.

1.6.  The Chairperson confirmed that the Secretariat would circulate a fax and proposed to suspend the discussions on this agenda point as proposed.

1.7.  The Committee so agreed

1.1.2  Resumed meeting of 23 July 2014

1.8.  The Chairperson recalled that, at its meeting of 27 June 2014, the Committee had agreed to suspend the discussion on this agenda item.  A fax had been circulated to Members with an extract of her statement, which included the agreed steps to be taken. 

1.9.  On 7 July 2014, a new fax had been circulated with details on the manner in which informal consultations would be conducted.  With a view to ensuring the maximum degree of transparency, a number of additional faxes had been sent with comments and suggestions submitted by Members.  These had been discussed at informal consultations which had taken place on 11 and 15 July, where all interested Members had had the opportunity to participate.  She was happy to report that Members present at the informal consultations had done an excellent job in accommodating the concerns that had been expressed, and had managed to produce a revised draft of the terms of reference.  This compromise text had been faxed to Members, in the three official languages, on 16 July 2014.  On this basis, the Chairperson proposed the Committee to adopt the terms of reference, as contained in the text that had been faxed to all Members on 16 July 2014. 

1.10.  The representative of India thanked the Chairperson for her efforts and for having held informal consultations, which had certainly produced an excellent result in the form of an agreed text.  Although India could go along with the proposed text, his delegation felt that the provisional agenda had not matured enough.  India could agree with the incorporation of the draft agenda in the text, but considered that further consultations were required to finalize it.  He concluded by reiterating that India was ready to join the consensus on the text. 

1.11.  The Chairperson drew Members' attention to the last paragraph in page 4 of the compromise text, which stated that "any changes or clarifications to the provisional agenda and details listed above will be determined by Members through subsequent informal consultations of the CCV".  On this basis, the Chairperson proposed the Committee to adopt the text.

1.12.  The Committee so agreed

1.13.  The Chairperson requested the Secretariat to circulate the compromise text as an official document.  She also drew Members' attention to the fact that there was not much time available to conclude the preparations of the workshop, which would take place the morning of Friday, 24 October.  The workshop would take place immediately after the meeting of the Technical Committee on Customs Valuation in Brussels, and before the next formal meeting of this Committee, which was scheduled for the afternoon of 24 October.  She announced that the invitation letters would be sent to the organizations listed in the terms of reference which had been adopted, and recalled that Members still needed to agree on the speakers for the public sector session.  She invited Members wishing to nominate a capital-based expert to contact her or the Secretariat no later than 6 August 2014.  She concluded by informing Members that the Secretariat would finance the participation of up to four speakers from developing countries or LDCs.  The Chairperson proposed to proceed as described.

1.14.  The Committee so agreed


2.1.  The Chairperson reported on the status of the proposal by Uruguay concerning the "rectification of the Spanish and English versions of Article 8.1(b)(iv) of the Agreement on Customs Valuation", which had been circulated in G/VAL/W/240.  She recalled that, at the formal meeting of 12 May 2014, Members had agreed that: 1) there was a lack of concordance in the three official versions of Article 8.1(b)(iv) of the Agreement; 2) the text of the Spanish version should be amended as proposed by Uruguay; and 3) that the Chairperson should submit a letter to the Director-General requesting him to follow the "procès verbal de rectification" procedure. Delegations had also agreed, on an ad referendum basis with one month for comments, to request the rectification of the English version in line with the Uruguayan proposal.  The Chairperson noted that no objection had been received by 12 June 2014.  Therefore, she would submit a letter to the Director-General requesting the rectification of the Spanish and English versions of Article 8.1(b)(iv) through a "procès verbal de rectification" procedure.  She noted that the normal period for comments and/or objections under this procedure was of 30 days, and not 90 days as it had been mentioned at the last meeting.

2.2.  The delegation of India sought a clarification on the procedure to be followed, because he understood that any amendment to the WTO Agreement had to follow a specific procedure set out in the Marrakesh Agreement establishing the WTO.

2.3.  The Secretariat (Mr. Roy Santana) confirmed that, in case of an amendment, the specific procedures contained in the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the WTO would have to be followed.  However, as it had been explained by the Legal Affairs Division at the Committee meeting of 27 September 2013, this could be considered a technical error in the official translation.  Thus, to the extent that Members agreed, a "procès verbal de rectification" procedure could be followed.  If that case, the Director-General of the WTO, who is the depositary of the Agreement, would circulate a document explaining the technical corrections to be introduced and would set a 30-day period for comments or objections.  In case no objections were raised, the Director-General would then proceed with the rectification of the official text.

2.4.  The Chairperson proposed to proceed as described.

2.5.  The Committee so agreed.