On 27 November 2019 the Commission, acting as the Secretariat of the PEM Convention, chaired the 9th meeting of the PEM Joint Committee, to invite all the Contracting Parties to express their position on the formal adoption of the revised rules of origin of the PEM Convention, on the basis of the consolidated text circulated in October.
Among the main changes proposed were:
For the EU, the position expressed in support of the revised rules was based on the Council Decision on the position to be taken on behalf of the European Union within the Joint Committee established by the Regional Convention on pan-Euro Mediterranean preferential rules of origin, adopted on 25 November.
Most Contracting Parties present at the meeting expressed their support to formally adopt the revised rules of origin, while some Contracting Parties expressed reservations/objections and asked for a postponement of the vote until a satisfactory agreement is reached on some bilateral outstanding issues.
The revised rules could not be adopted in the Joint Committee in the light of the reservations expressed.
However, several Contracting Parties indicated that they were ready to start incorporating the revised rules in their bilateral protocols on a transitional basis as alternative rules to those of the Convention.
The PEM Secretariat and the EU will continue having bilateral discussions with all Contracting Parties to examine possible ways to address outstanding issues/derogations and the next steps, given that the main objective is to complete the revision process so that the revised RoO of the Convention can be endorsed by all Parties.
A 10th Joint Committee could be planned for the summer of 2020 in the light of the evolution of the positions of Contracting Parties on the revised rules to the PEM Convention.
The possibility to provide for an early application of the revised rules on a bilateral basis, as alternative rules to those of the current PEM Convention and pending the final adoption and entry into force of the revised Convention, will also be examined among interested parties.