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Summary of Treaty

Official Title Agreement on maritime transport between the European Community and its Member States, of the one part, and the government of the People's Republic of China, of the other part
Type of Agreement Bilateral
Place of Signature Brussels
Date of Signature 06/12/2002
Date of Entry Into Force 01/03/2008
Duration Definite
Agreement Suspension Justification
Objective of Agreement
- To strengthen and consolidate the relations, on the basis of equality and mutual benefit, in the field of international maritime transport; - to recognise the importance of maritime transport services and wishing to promote even further multimodal transport involving a sea leg in order to increase efficiencies in the transport chain; - to recognise the importance of further developing a flexible and market-oriented approach and the benefits to economic operators of both Parties of controlling and operating their own international cargo transport services in the context of an efficient international maritime transport system.
China is the EU's third largest trading partner outside of Europe, as well as an important provider of international maritime transport services. The Chinese market is of key interest to European shipping companies and over the past years EU-China maritime transport relations have improved considerably. In view of the above and considering also the existence of bilateral agreements between the majority of Member States and China, the conclusion of a bilateral maritime Agreement between the European Community and its Member States on the one hand and China on the other was seen as an opportunity to consolidate existing business improvements and to further promote maritime relations between the two regions and their economic operators on the basis of equality and mutual benefit. Following contacts and exploratory talks in 1999 and 2000, conclusions of the last two EU-China Summit meetings in Beijing and in Brussels and two high level meetings between the Member of the Commission in charge of Transport and the Chinese Minister for Communications, negotiations actually took place in 2001. Two sessions of negotiations were held, one in Brussels on 13/14 September and one concluding session in Beijing on 10/12 December 2001. The successful outcome of the Beijing session enabled both sides to initial the Agreement. As foreseen by the Council negotiations directives a special committee composed of representatives of the Member States assisted the Commission during the negotiations both in Brussels and in Beijing. The Agreement which will be concluded for a period of five years and will be renewed on a yearly basis, is based on the principles of freedom to provide maritime transport services, free access to cargoes and cross trades, unrestricted access to and non discriminatory treatment in the use of ports and auxiliary services as well as regarding commercial presence. Moreover it covers all aspects of door to door services. The provisions of this Agreement replace those of previous bilateral agreements concluded between Member States of the Community and China, if the latter provisions are either inconsistent with the former or identical to them. Provisions of existing bilateral agreements not covered by this Agreement shall continue to apply. The Agreement places the existing bilateral agreements concluded by Member States in a Community framework and reaches a higher level of liberalisation than the one achieved up to now on a bilateral basis. It therefore substantially improves the quality of the EU-China maritime relations.
OJ Reference L46, 21/02/2008, p. 25
Contracting Parties European Community, Austria, Belgium, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom
Authentic Texts Chinese, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish
Subject Matters Asia
Amendment and review Article 12 Agreement
Entry into force conditions Article 15 Agreement
Settlement of disputes Article 11 Agreement
Territorial application Article 13 Agreement
Conclusion Date 31/01/2008
Ratification Status NOT
Conclusion Decision 2008/143/EC: Council Decision of 28 January 2008 concerning the conclusion of the Agreement on maritime transport between the European Community and its Member States, of the one part, and the Government of the People’s Republic of China, of the other part; OJ L46 of 21/02/2008, p.23
Reserves A declaration of EU competence exists for this treaty. To consult the text click on "to load all the summary data of the treaty".
Competence Mixed
Financial Provision of Agreement
Legal Basis Treaty EC: Article 80, 300
General Comments

Last Update :   14/05/2013