Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement
Existing bilateral agreements may be maintained as long as they do not conflict with the Community`s competences and the customs cooperation and mutual assistance agreements. The provisions of the latter Member States shall prevail over the provisions of bilateral agreements on customs cooperation and mutual assistance concluded or likely to be concluded between each Member State and the Contracting Party, in so far as the provisions of the Contracting Party are incompatible with those of those agreements. Such a legal framework is essential because of the explosion in the scale and complexity of international trade. Worldwide, high demands are placed on customs administrations. Since state resources are not able to keep up with this growing trade, customs administrations need mutual assistance as a powerful investigative tool. In June 1967, the Customs Cooperation Council (CCC), which later changed its name to the World Customs Organization (WCO), defined the content of the “Model Agreement on Mutual Assistance in Customs Matters”; and most countries participating in the WCO take this model as a project for the signing of a CMAA. The ROC has signed agreements with other countries based on the WCO model and negotiates appropriate versions based on the status of the counterparty. In line with this policy, customs cooperation and mutual assistance agreements enable the parties to develop the instruments necessary for customs cooperation. In support of world trade and international aid in the fight against customs fraud, the European Union has signed agreements on customs cooperation and mutual assistance (Korea, Canada, Hong Kong, India, China, Japan and the United States). These agreements are part of the European Community`s strategy towards third countries in the field of customs cooperation. They shall focus on strengthening customs cooperation with a view to considering that infringements of customs legislation adversely affect the economic, fiscal, social and cultural interests of the economic, fiscal, social and cultural interests of customs as well as the legitimate interests of trade, industry and commerce in their respective countries. adopted a model bilateral mutual assistance agreement for countries to be implemented within the framework of a national customs policy.
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