Decisions, Recommendations and other Instruments of the
Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development
Advanced Search
 Searchor
Display for print   SwitchToFrench   
AGREEMENTSHIPBUILDING
Agreement respecting Normal Competitive Conditions in the Commercial Shipbuilding and Repair Industry
Open for signature
21 December 1994
Not yet entered into force

PREAMBLE

The Parties to this Agreement,

Conscious of the importance to international and national commerce of a healthy commercial shipbuilding and repair industry;

Having regard to the aims of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and considering the important role of its Council Working Party on Shipbuilding in promoting normal competitive conditions in the shipbuilding industry and noting in particular its work concerning the "Revised General Arrangement for the Progressive Removal of Obstacles to Normal Competitive Conditions in the Shipbuilding Industry" (RGA), the "Understanding on Export Credits for Ships" and the "Revised Guidelines for Government Policies in the Shipbuilding Industry"

Taking into account principles governing international trade as set forth in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 (hereafter referred to as "GATT 1994");

Noting the severe structural disequilibrium and market trends which depressed for many years the world shipbuilding and repair industry, the increased competition, the deteriorating price levels and the implementation of measures of public assistance;

Desiring to improve transparency regarding obstacles to normal competitive conditions in the commercial shipbuilding and repair industry and to have the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development reinforce its collection of data about and monitoring of the market situation, prices, and policies in that industry;

Recognising the need to intensify their commitment to reach normal competitive conditions and to provide for an effective means of protection against sales of ships under their normal value which cause injury;

Recognising also that special characteristics of ship purchase transactions have made it impractical to apply countervailing and anti-dumping duties, as provided under Article VI of GATT 1994, the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures, and the Agreement on the Implementation of Article VI of GATT 1994;

Recognising further the need to provide for a speedy, effective and equitable resolution of disputes about these matters;

Hereby agree as follows:

Article 1: Restoration and Maintenance of Normal Competitive Conditions

1.    The Parties shall, in accordance with the specific provisions set out in Annex II, eliminate all existing measures or practices which are inconsistent with normal competitive conditions in the commercial shipbuilding and repair industry pursuant to Annex I (hereafter referred to as "measures of support").

2.    The Parties shall not introduce any new measures of support.

3.    The Parties recognise that the sale of commercial ships at less than their normal value is to be condemned if it causes or threatens material injury to an established shipbuilding and repair industry in the territory of another Party, or materially retards the establishment of a domestic shipbuilding and repair industry. In order to remedy or prevent such injurious pricing, Annex III is applicable.

Article 2: Scope of the Agreement

1.    This Agreement covers the construction and repair of any self-propelled seagoing vessels of 100 gross tons and above used for transportation of goods or persons or for performance of a specialised service (for example, ice breakers and dredgers) and tugs of 365 kW and over.

2.    This Agreement excludes:

a)   military vessels and modifications made or features added to other vessels exclusively for military purposes. This exclusion is subject to the requirement that any measures or practices taken in respect of such vessels, modifications or features are not disguised actions taken in favour of commercial shipbuilding and repair inconsistent with this Agreement. If a Party considers that this requirement has not been met, it may, without prejudice to its rights to initiate the other procedures foreseen in this Agreement, request further information, which the other Party shall co-operate to provide as fully and quickly as possible.

b)   fishing vessels destined for the building or repairing Party's fishing fleet. This exclusion is subject to the requirement that the Party provides full transparency in accordance with Article 4.

3.    For purposes of this Agreement:

a)   a vessel is considered "self-propelled seagoing" if its permanent propulsion and steering provide it all the characteristics of self-navigability in the high seas;

b)   "repair" includes, inter alia, conversion and reconditioning of self-propelled seagoing vessels as defined in subparagraph a. above; and

c)   "military vessels" are vessels which according to their basic structural characteristics and ability are intended to be used exclusively for military purposes.

Article 3: Parties Group

1.    A Parties Group, composed of a representative of each of the Parties to this Agreement, shall examine the functioning of the Agreement and carry out the other functions provided for in this Agreement.

2.    The Parties Group shall annually elect a Chairman, who will serve in his personal capacity. The Chairman shall convene meetings of the Parties Group annually or, upon request of a Party, more frequently. If the country of which the Chairman is a national, or in which the Chairman has his usual residence or is employed, is an interested Party in any advisory opinion, derogation, or dispute settlement procedure pursuant to Articles 5 or 8, the Parties Group shall, at the request of any Party, elect an alternate Chairman to perform the functions of Chairman relating to those procedures.

3.    The Parties Group shall act by consensus, except as otherwise provided. A Party may abstain and express a differing view without barring consensus.

4.    The Secretary-General of the OECD shall provide the Secretariat for the Parties Group, the costs for which shall be borne by the Parties as approved and apportioned by the Parties Group.

Article 4: Provision and Review of Information

1.    In order to ensure transparency, each Party shall provide the Parties Group, through the Secretariat:

a)   every six months, all publicly available information on contract price trends and on the credit terms and conditions of all ships covered by this Agreement and sold during the previous six months;

b)   as far in advance as possible, relevant information on any assistance it proposes to provide specifically to the commercial shipbuilding and repair industry, including relevant information on assistance excluded from the prohibitions of this Agreement by Annex I, Section B.1.h and prompt supplementary information on any such assistance it has so provided and assistance provided under Annex II A;

c)   information and notifications regarding credit terms and facilities which are called for by the Understanding on Export Credits for Ships, as defined in Annex I, Section A.1. and corresponding information and notifications for the Home Credit Schemes authorised by Annex I, Section B.2.(2);

d)   for yards able to build merchant ships over 5000 gt, publicly available information on capacity developments and on the structure of ownership (capital structure, share of direct and indirect public ownership); financial statements (balance sheet, profit and loss statement) including, if available, separate accounts covering the shipbuilding activities of holdings; transfer of public resources (including debt guarantees, bond infusion, etc.); exemptions from financial or other obligations (including tax privileges, etc.), capital contribution (including equity infusions, withdrawal of capital, dividend, loans and their refunding, etc.); debt write-off; and transfer of losses.

2.    Any Party may request from any other Party, either directly or through the Secretariat, information that it believes to be relevant to the provision of any measures of support and may provide the Parties Group with information on measures of support maintained or permitted by another Party.

3.    The Parties Group shall, once every three years, review in depth the competitive conditions prevailing on each Party's territory. This will include the examination of the possible impact on normal competitive conditions of the evolution in ownership of yards. Information required for this review may be requested from the Parties by the Secretariat.

4.    Each Party shall co-operate fully in the effort to obtain information requested under this Agreement.

5.    The provisions of this Article shall not require any Party to disclose confidential information which would impede law enforcement or otherwise be contrary to the public interest or would prejudice the legitimate commercial interests of particular enterprises, public or private. Information provided on a confidential basis shall not be disclosed without the express consent of the Party supplying the information.

Article 5: Opinions and Derogations

1.    Any Party may request that the Parties Group provide a written opinion on the consistency with this Agreement of measures or practices[1]:

a)   it proposes or has taken or engaged in; or

b)   taken or engaged in by another Party.

The Parties Group shall provide such an opinion within 60 days of the request.

2.    An opinion adopted by consensus of all the members of the Parties Group shall be final and binding upon all the Parties regarding that particular measure or practice.

3.    If, with respect to an opinion requested under subparagraph 1.b. there is an objection by a requesting Party or by the Party the measure or practice of which is the subject of the opinion, the Parties Group shall act by consensus of the other Parties. An opinion adopted in this manner shall be advisory.

4.    The initiation of an opinion proceeding by a Party shall not prejudice the right of any Party to initiate a Panel under Article 8. If a disputed measure or practice is submitted for Panel consideration, opinion proceedings shall terminate upon request by a Party to the dispute made to the Parties Group within 15 days of the request to establish a Panel or of the request for the opinion.

5.    A Party which considers that, in response to extraordinary circumstances, it must temporarily take a measure or engage in a practice inconsistent with this Agreement, may do so only in conformity with the terms and conditions of a derogation which may be granted by the Parties Group. In critical circumstances which do not allow time for prior consideration by the Parties Group, action may be initiated provisionally, on condition that any action taken shall be rescinded no later than thirty days from initiation, and any benefit provided shall be recovered, unless its continuation is approved by the Parties Group which shall meet within this period.

Article 6: Notification of Inconsistent Measures

Whenever a Party has reason to believe that a measure or practice has been introduced or is being maintained by another Party, contrary to the terms of Article 1, paragraph 1 or 2, that Party shall notify the Parties Group, specifying the section or sections of Annexes I and II with which it believes the measure or practice is inconsistent.

Article 7: Consultations

1.    A Party which has reason to believe that a measure of support has been or is being introduced or maintained by another Party, contrary to the terms of Article 1, paragraph 1 or 2, may request consultations with the other concerned Party. The request shall include a statement of available information with regard to the existence and nature of the measure of support in question.

2.    If a Party considers that an injurious pricing charge proceeding has been carried out regarding a shipbuilder in its territory by another Party in a manner not in conformity with Article 1, paragraph 3, and Annex III, it may request consultations with that other Party no later than 60 days after the notification to the shipbuilder of the decision imposing the injurious pricing charge.

3.    A Party may request consultations with any other Party or Parties concerning any other matter respecting the operation of this Agreement, including possible initiation of a proceeding under Annex III.

4.    The requesting Party or Parties shall inform the Parties Group of the request for consultations and of the reasons for the request.

5.    The requested Party or Parties shall provide adequate opportunity for such consultations and shall enter into them within thirty days of such a request. The purpose of the consultations shall be to clarify the facts of the situation and to arrive at a mutually acceptable solution in conformity with this Agreement.

6.    The parties to the consultations shall inform the Parties Group of significant developments in the consultations as they occur and of their results.

Article 8: Dispute Panel Proceedings

1.    If a mutually acceptable solution has not been reached in consultations under Article 7, paragraph 1, on a measure of support introduced, or under Article 7, paragraph 2, on a charge imposed, within 30 days after the beginning of consultations or 60 days after the date of the request, whichever is sooner, any party to the consultation may request the establishment of a Panel to consider the dispute, in accordance with Annex IV. This right is independent of whether an affected shipbuilder has taken an appeal to the Courts of a Party.

2.    A Party seeking to redress a violation by another Party of the obligations subject to the provisions of this Article and Annex IV of this Agreement, shall have recourse to, and abide by, the rules and procedures of this Agreement. In such a case, the Party shall not make a determination to the effect that a violation has occurred except in accordance with the above-mentioned provisions. Each Party shall ensure the conformity of its laws, regulations and administrative procedures with its obligations under this paragraph.

3.    If a party to the dispute seeks, as a remedy, the collection of a charge from a shipbuilder, or is contesting the imposition of an injurious pricing charge on its shipbuilder, that shipbuilder shall, subject to the consent of its Party, be entitled to participate in the Panel proceeding and shall be given a full and fair opportunity to present its case against the imposition of the charge. The shipbuilder may be excluded from government-to-government aspects of the proceeding by agreement of the parties to the dispute.

4.    Any other Party to this Agreement with an interest in the dispute shall be provided an opportunity to make its views on the dispute known to the Panel.

5.    If the dispute involves a measure of support in Annex I, the Panel shall determine whether such measure of support is inconsistent with this Agreement. If the Panel finds the measure of support to be inconsistent:

a)   the Party responsible for such measure of support shall eliminate or modify it to conform with the Agreement, within a time limit set by the Panel;

b)   the Panel shall include in its findings a determination of (i) which shipbuilders benefited from the measure of support, (ii) the amount of the benefit received by each shipbuilder concerned under such measure of support, and (iii) interest on the benefit at the Commercial Interest Reference Rate (CIRR) of the country in question from the date of receipt of the benefit. For subsidies within the meaning of Article 1 of the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures, the benefit shall be determined in accordance with Article 14 of that Agreement. For other measures, the Panel shall follow any generally accepted trade practice and/or understanding;

c)   the Party responsible shall, within a time limit set by the Panel, collect from the shipbuilders concerned a charge in the amount determined under subparagraph b. or if collection is not legally possible, it may, with the agreement of the adversely affected Party or Parties, take other appropriate action to remove or offset the benefits obtained.

6.    If the dispute involves an injurious pricing charge, the Panel shall examine whether the charge was imposed in accordance with Annex III.

a)   The Panel shall, in its assessment of the facts of the matter, determine whether the authorities' establishment of the facts was proper and whether their evaluation of those facts was unbiased and objective. If the establishment of the facts was proper and the evaluation was unbiased and objective, even though the Panel might have reached a different conclusion, the evaluation shall not be overturned.

b)   The Panel shall interpret the Agreement in accordance with customary rules of interpretation of public international law. Where the Panel finds that a relevant provision of the Agreement admits more than one permissible interpretation, the Panel shall find the authorities' measure to be in conformity with the Agreement if it rests upon one of those permissible interpretations[2]; and

c)   Where the Panel finds that imposition of a charge was inconsistent with the Agreement, the Panel may recommend, in light of the nature of the inconsistency, either that the investigating authority terminate the investigation or that it reconsider its determination in light of the Panel's findings. If the Panel recommends reconsideration, it may suggest ways in which the investigating authority could implement the recommendation. The investigating authority shall make its determination consistent with the findings of the Panel.

7.    If the amount required is not paid within the time limit set by the Panel, interest shall accrue at the CIRR of the currency of the charge from, in the case of a charge under paragraph 5, the expiry of that time limit and, in the case of a charge under paragraph 6, the expiry of the time limit for payment provided in Annex III, Article 7, paragraph 3, until the date of payment.

8.    The decisions of the Panel shall be final and binding upon the parties to the dispute, unless rejected by the Parties Group within thirty days.

9.    With regard to a dispute concerning a measure of support in Annex I, in the event a party to the dispute does not implement the Panel's decisions as provided in paragraphs 5 a) and 5 c) above, or implement appropriate alternative compensation or remedial action by agreement with the adversely affected party or parties, and until implementation occurs, the following actions may be taken, and shall not be subject to complaint under any other agreement:

a)   The Parties Group, acting by consensus minus one, may deny benefits of Article 1, paragraph 3, and Annex III to shipbuilders which received the benefit but did not pay the charge or comply with the agreed alternative compensation or remedial action, by making such shipbuilders ineligible to be considered injured by the pricing of vessels sold by shipbuilders of other Parties.

b)   The adversely affected party or parties to the dispute may suspend equivalent concessions under the GATT 1994, subject to disapproval of the amount of the concessions suspended by the Parties Group acting by consensus minus one. In determining such suspensions, preference shall be given to those that are related to the product or products associated with the violation. If a Party concerned objects to the amount or the product related to the suspension of concessions proposed, it may refer the matter to the Panel.

10.    In the event the shipbuilder concerned does not pay a charge imposed pursuant to Annex III, void the sale of the vessel at a price below normal value, or comply with another lawful alternative equivalent remedy acceptable to the investigating authority in the applicable time limit[3], the investigating Party may deny onloading and offloading privileges to certain vessels built by the shipbuilder in question, to the extent sufficient but not excessive to achieve the purpose of Annex III. Such denial of onloading and offloading privileges shall not be subject to complaint under any other agreement.

a)   The investigating Party may initially impose this countermeasure, subject to thirty days prior public notice, and pending compliance by the shipbuilder, for a maximum period of 4 years after delivery of vessels contracted for during a maximum period of 4 years from the end of the public notice period;

b)   A party to the dispute may request the establishment of a Panel to consider countermeasure cases, where there is no Panel already in existence to consider the underlying injurious pricing determination.

i)   A Panel shall increase or decrease the periods and/or authorise additional Parties to apply the countermeasure, if necessary for the countermeasure to be sufficient but not excessive to achieve the purpose of Annex III.

ii)   In accordance with Section 11 of Annex IV, a Panel may provisionally suspend or reduce the imposition of a countermeasure, pending completion of its consideration of the matter if, considering the prospects of the Party complaining about the countermeasure prevailing on the merits, such action is necessary to preclude irreparable harm.

c)   The Secretariat will prepare, update periodically and circulate to the Parties, the lists of the vessels which are subject to the countermeasure or remedial action. The Parties shall supply information to the Secretariat on the vessels concerned.

Article 9: Dispute Settlement for Export Credits

1.    With respect to any dispute with regard to measures of support covered by Annex I, Section A.1, the Parties shall make full use of the consultation mechanisms provided by the Understanding on Export Credits for Ships, referred to in Annex I.

2.    If, however, any such dispute is not satisfactorily resolved through a full use of the mechanisms, and a party to the dispute believes that such a measure of support significantly undermines the balance of rights and obligations under this Agreement, that party may seek review of the matter by the Parties Group in order to establish if the measure of support has significantly undermined the balance of rights and obligations under this Agreement. If an affirmative determination is made, the Parties Group shall establish the conditions under which the offending party is to discontinue the measure of support giving rise to the dispute.

3. If appropriate, the Parties Group may recommend amending the Agreement or the Understanding.

Article 10: Security Interests

1.    Subject to the requirement that measures or practices with respect to security interests are not disguised actions taken in favour of the commercial shipbuilding and repair industry inconsistent with the Agreement, nothing in this Agreement shall be construed:

a)   to require any Party to furnish any information the disclosure of which it considers contrary to its essential security interests;

b)   to prevent any Party from taking any action which it considers necessary for the protection of its essential security interests:

i)   relating to fissionable materials or the materials from which they are derived;

ii)   relating to traffic in arms, ammunition and implements of war and to such traffic in other goods and materials as is carried on directly or indirectly for the purpose of supplying a military establishment

iii)   taken in time of war or other emergency in international relations; or

c)   to prevent any Party from taking any action in pursuance of its obligations under the United Nations Charter for the maintenance of international peace and security.

2.    If a Party is of the opinion that measures or practices taken by another Party are disguised action taken in favour of the commercial shipbuilding and repair industry, it may, without prejudice to its right to initiate the other procedures foreseen in this Agreement, request further clarification. The other Party shall co-operate to discuss whether or not a measure or practice relates to essential security and to provide the available information as fully and quickly as possible through the appropriate responsible government channels.

Article 11: Review and Amendment of the Agreement

1.    The Parties Group shall review this Agreement triennially. The Parties Group shall also review this Agreement if the market share in terms of world production represented by the Parties to the Agreement falls below 70 per cent of gross tonnage.

2.    Any Party may propose to the Parties Group amendments to this Agreement. Any amendment adopted by the Parties Group shall enter into force upon the deposit of an instrument of acceptance by all the Parties, or at such later date as may be specified by the Parties Group at the time of adoption of the amendments.

Article 12: Signature, Ratification, Acceptance, Approval and Accession

1.    Until its entry into force, this Agreement shall be open for signature at the OECD by the European Community, Finland, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway, Sweden, the United States of America, and any State invited by them which has a commercial shipbuilding and repair industry. This Agreement shall be subject to ratification, acceptance or approval which the signatories shall seek to accomplish before January 1, 1996.

2.    After entry into force, States with a commercial shipbuilding and repair industry may, subject to the approval of the Parties Group, become Party to this Agreement by accession.

3.    Ratification, acceptance, approval and accession shall be effected by the deposit of a formal instrument to that effect with the Depositary.

Article 13: Entry into Force

1.    This Agreement, of which the Annexes form an integral part shall enter into force on January 1, 1996, subject to deposit of instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval, in accordance with Article 12, by the European Community, Finland, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway, Sweden and the United States of America[4]. If one or more of them has not deposited such instrument by that date, the Agreement shall enter into force 30 days after the last instrument has been deposited.

2.    Parties accept the Understanding on Export Credits for Ships, referred to in Annex I, Section A.1. of this Agreement.

Article 14: Withdrawal

1.    Any Party may withdraw from this Agreement by giving written notice of its intention to do so to the Depositary, such withdrawal to take effect one year from receipt of such notice. Within this period, at the request of any of the Parties, the Parties Group shall meet to review this Agreement. Within thirty days after such a Parties Group meeting, any other Party, by written notification to the Depositary, may withdraw from this Agreement as of the date of withdrawal of the Party which first gave notice.

Article 15: Depositary

1.    The Secretary-General of the OECD shall be the Depositary of this Agreement.

DONE at Paris, this twenty-first day of December, one thousand nine hundred and ninety-four, in the English and French languages, each text being equally authentic.


ANNEX I

MEASURES OF SUPPORT INCONSISTENT WITH NORMAL COMPETITIVE CONDITIONS IN THE COMMERCIAL SHIPBUILDING AND REPAIR INDUSTRY[5]

The following measures of support are inconsistent with normal competitive conditions when specifically provided[6], directly or indirectly, to the commercial shipbuilding and repair industry by a Party, including the constituent states or regional or local authorities of a Party or their agencies or instrumentalities, or through public resources or public intervention in any form:

A.    EXPORT SUBSIDIES

1.    Officially Supported Export Credits[7]

Export credit facilities inconsistent with the provisions of the Understanding on Export Credits for Ships, as set out in C/WP6(94)6, and amendments thereto adopted in accordance with Clause 14 of that Understanding.

2.    Export Subsidies

Subsidies contingent, in law or in fact[8], whether solely or as one of several other conditions, upon export performance, including those illustrated in Accompanying Note 8 to this Annex[9].

B.    DOMESTIC SUPPORT[10]

1.    Direct Domestic Support

a)   The following measures of support are inconsistent when provided directly to the shipbuilder or ship repairer:

b)   grants;

c)   loans on terms and conditions more favourable than those of a comparable commercial loan which a firm can actually obtain on the market;

d)   loan guarantees that support loans on terms and conditions more favourable than those that the firm would obtain on a comparable commercial loan absent the government guarantee, or on terms and conditions more favourable than those otherwise permitted by this Agreement;

e)   forgiveness of debts;

f)   provision of equity capital inconsistent with the usual investment practice (including for the provision of risk capital) of private investors in the territory of that Party;

g)   provision of goods and services at less than the adequate remuneration;

h)   tax policies and practices benefiting the shipbuilding and repair industry, such as tax credits;

i)   other assistance except for: (i) assistance to cover the cost of measures for the exclusive benefit of workers who lose retirement benefits or who are made redundant or otherwise separated permanently from employment in the respective shipbuilding enterprise, when such assistance is related to the discontinuance or curtailment of shipyards, bankruptcy, or change of activities away from shipbuilding and (ii) research and development assistance granted in accordance with the provisions in Section B.3.

2.    Indirect Domestic Support[11]

1.    The following measures of support are inconsistent where the benefit is passed or may reasonably be expected to be passed to the shipbuilder or ship repairer indirectly, through a shipowner or other third parties[12]. Domestic build requirements, in law or in fact, are inconsistent.

a)   grants;

b)   loans and loan guarantees:

i)   home credits, linked to the contract value of a new vessel, granted to a domestic shipowner or other domestic third parties placing orders for such vessel on terms and conditions more favourable than those of a comparable commercial loan which a firm can actually obtain on the market, subject to paragraph 2 and paragraph 3 below;

ii)   other loans, on terms and conditions more favourable than those of a comparable commercial loan which a firm can actually obtain on the market;

iii)   loan guarantees that support loans on terms and conditions more favourable than those that the firm would obtain on a comparable commercial loan absent the government guarantee, or on terms and conditions more favourable than those otherwise permitted by this Agreement;

c)   forgiveness of debts;

d)   tax policies and practices benefiting the shipbuilding and repair industry such as tax credits;

e)   any assistance provided to suppliers of goods and services to the shipbuilding and repair industry if such assistance specifically provides benefits to that industry of a country; or

f)   any indirect assistance that is similar to measures and practices listed in points a. through e. of this paragraph, except for research and development which is dealt with under Section 3 below.

2.    Paragraphs 1 b.i) and iii) shall not apply to loans and loan guarantees to domestic purchasers on the same terms and conditions as may be granted pursuant to the Understanding on Export Credit for Ships [C/WP6(94)6], including, inter alia, terms and conditions regarding interest rate, downpayment, grace period, duration, equal instalments and guarantee premiums. Eligibility for such loans and loan guarantees may be limited to purchase of ships from domestic shipyards.

3.    In accordance with terms and conditions to be agreed upon by the Council Working Party on Shipbuilding, paragraphs 1 b) i) and iii) above shall also not apply to loans and loan guarantees which:

a)   provide more favourable terms and conditions for a domestic shipowner placing an order for a new vessel at a foreign shipyard than those placing an order at a domestic shipyard; or

b)   make such schemes subject to an open international bidding procedure; or

c)   provide a total "soft" or concessional element no greater than that of the loans permitted under paragraph 2, above.

3.    Research and Development[13]

1.   Assistance provided by public authorities in the form of grants, preferential loans, preferential tax treatment or other means for research and development to the shipbuilding and ship repair industry, except for:

a)   fundamental research as defined in Accompanying Note 5.b);

b)   basic industrial research, where the aid intensity is limited to 50 per cent of the eligible costs;

c)   applied research, where the aid intensity is limited to 35 per cent of the eligible costs;

d)   development, where the aid intensity is limited to 25 per cent of the eligible costs;

2.    The maximum allowable aid intensity for research and development related to safety and the environment may be 25 percentage points higher than those percentages mentioned in subparagraphs 1 b., c. and d. above, on the condition that the Parties Group has approved the project by consensus minus one, or more than 25 percentage points higher if the Parties Group has approved the project by consensus.

3.    The maximum allowable aid intensity for research and development carried out by small and medium sized shipbuilding enterprises shall be 20 percentage points higher than those percentages mentioned in subparagraphs (1) b., c. and d. above. Small and medium sized enterprises are those with less than 300 employees whose yearly sales figure does not exceed 20 million ECU and which are not more than twenty five per cent owned by a large company.

4.    Information on the results of research and development is to be published promptly, at least annually.

C.    OFFICIAL REGULATIONS AND PRACTICES

1.    Administrative acts, guidance, or practices which authorise, encourage or require shipbuilders or ship repairers to enter into anti-competitive arrangements with competitors including but not limited to agreements to fix prices, rig bids, allocate markets, restrain production or sales, or engage in predatory practices[14].

2.    Domestic build or repair or domestic content requirements that discriminate in favour of the commercial shipbuilding and repair industry of the Party, or official regulations or practices that have similar effects including, inter alia, cargo reservation schemes directly linked with domestic shipbuilding or repair requirements[15].

 

ACCOMPANYING NOTES TO ANNEX I

Note 1: Disciplines in Annex I include measures of support provided to related entities, where a "related entity" is any natural or juridical person (i) who owns or controls a shipbuilder or (ii) is owned or controlled by a shipbuilder, directly or indirectly, whether through stock ownership or otherwise. A rebuttable presumption of control arises when a person or shipbuilder owns or controls an interest of 25 per cent in the other.

Note 2: Section B does not apply to measures of support dealt with in Section A.

Note 3: Item A.1 and B.2: Transparency and Review of Export and Home Credit Schemes

Within two years of entry into force of this Agreement, the Parties Group shall set up a Working Group to review the functioning of Annex I, Sections A.1 and B 2.2.

i)   examining the reports submitted each year on the value, tonnage, interest rates, etc. on all ships financed through officially supported Export Credits and Home Credit Schemes; and

ii)   evaluating the adequacy of the notification procedures provided for in Article 4.1.c. in terms of revealing measures or practices that are inconsistent with the Agreement.

The Working Group is to examine whether the use of such measures has significantly undermined the balance of rights and obligations under this Agreement. If this is the case, the Working Group may recommend to the Parties Group appropriate amendments to the Agreement or to the Understanding on Export Credit for Ships.

Note 4: Item B.2

A measure of support is understood to be provided through a shipowner or other third parties where, e.g. the benefit is passed or may reasonably be expected to be passed to the shipbuilder or ship repairer or where the work is required by law or encouraged in fact to be carried out at the yards of a specific country.

Note 5: Item B.3

The following definitions apply to research and development:

a)   "Eligible costs":

i)   costs of instruments, materials, land and buildings to the extent that they are used for the specific research and development project;

ii)   costs of researchers, technicians and other supporting staff to the extent that they are engaged in the specific research and development project;

iii)   consultancy and equivalent services including bought in research, technical knowledge, patents, etc;

iv)   overhead costs (infrastructure and support services) to the extent that they are related to the research and development project, on condition that they do not exceed 45 per cent of the total costs of the project for basic industrial research, 20 per cent for applied research and 10 per cent for development.

b)   The term "fundamental research" means research activities independently conducted by higher education or research establishments for the enlargement of general scientific and technical knowledge, not linked to industrial or commercial objectives.

c)   "Basic industrial research" is understood to mean original theoretical and experimental work whose objective is to achieve new and better understanding of the laws of science and engineering in general and as they might apply to an industrial sector or to the activities of a particular undertaking.

d)   Applied research" is understood to mean investigation or experimental work on the basis of the results of the basic research with a view to facilitating the attainment of specific practical objectives such as the creation of new products, production processes and services. It normally ends with the creation of a first prototype and does not include efforts whose principal aim is the design, development or testing of specific items of services to be considered for sale.

e)   "Development" is understood to mean work based on the systematic use of scientific and technical knowledge in a design, development, testing or evaluation of a potential new product, production processes or service or of an improvement of an existing product or service to meet specific performance requirements and objectives. This stage will normally include pre-production models such as pilot and demonstration projects but does not include industrial application and commercial exploitation.

f)   Public assistance for research and development specifically provided to the shipbuilding and repair industry includes, but is not limited to, the following cases:

i)   research and development projects carried out by the shipbuilding or ship repair industry or research institutes controlled by or financed by this industry;

ii)   research and development projects carried out by the shipping industry or research institutes controlled by or financed by this industry when the project is directly related to shipbuilding or repair;

iii)   research and development projects carried out by universities, public or independent private research institutes and other industrial sectors in collaboration with the shipbuilding industry;

iv)   research and development projects carried out by universities, public or independent private research institutions and other industrial sectors, when, at the time the project is carried out, it is reasonably anticipated that the results will be of substantial specific importance for the shipbuilding and ship repair industry.

Note 6: Item C.1

The Parties recognise that differences exist among their competition policies or laws and regulations. The provision of Item C.1 is not intended to unify competition policies among the Parties to this Agreement nor to compel a Party to amend its national competition laws and regulations.

Note 7: Item C.2

While customs duties on newly built vessels or vessel repairs are included within the scope of Item C.2, the Parties do not intend thereby to characterise customs duties as obstacles to normal competitive conditions in the commercial shipbuilding industry.

Note 8: Item A.2: Illustrative List of Export Subsidies

a)   The provision by governments of direct subsidies to a firm or an industry contingent upon export performance.

b)   Currency retention schemes or any similar practices which involve a bonus on exports.

c)   Internal transport and freight charges on export shipments, provided or mandated by governments, on terms more favourable than for domestic shipments.

d)   The provision by governments or their agencies either directly or indirectly through government-mandated schemes, of imported or domestic products or services for use in the production of exported goods, on terms or conditions more favourable than for provision of like or directly competitive products or services for use in the production of goods for domestic consumption, if (in the case of products) such terms or conditions are more favourable than those commercially available (1) on world markets to their exporters.

e)   The full or partial exemption, remission, or deferral specifically related to exports, of direct taxes (2) or social welfare charges paid or payable by industrial or commercial enterprises (3).

f)   The allowance of special deductions directly related to exports or export performance, over and above those granted in respect to production for domestic consumption, in the calculation of the base on which direct taxes are charged.

g)   The exemption or remission in respect of the production and distribution of exported products, of indirect taxes (2) in excess of those levied in respect of the production and distribution of like products when sold for domestic consumption.

h)   The exemption, remission or deferral of prior stage cumulative indirect taxes (2) on goods or services used in the production of exported products in excess of the exemption, remission or deferral of like prior stage cumulative indirect taxes on goods or services used in the production of like products when sold for domestic consumption; provided, however, that prior stage cumulative indirect taxes may be exempted, remitted or deferred on exported products even when not exempted, remitted or deferred on like products when sold for domestic consumption, if the prior stage cumulative indirect taxes are levied on inputs that are consumed in the production of the exported product (making normal allowance for waste) (4). This item shall be interpreted in accordance with the guidelines on consumption of inputs in the production process contained in Annex II of the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures.

i)   The remission or drawback of import charges (2) in excess of those levied on imported inputs that are consumed in the production of the exported product (making normal allowance for waste); provided, however, that in particular cases a firm may use a quantity of home market inputs equal to, and having the same quality and characteristics as, the imported inputs as a substitute for them in order to benefit from this provision if the import and the corresponding export operations both occur within a reasonable time period, not to exceed two years. This item shall be interpreted in accordance with the guidelines on consumption of inputs in the production process contained in Annex II of the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures and the guidelines in the determination of substitution drawback systems as export subsidies contained in Annex III of the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures.

j)   The provision by governments (or special institutions controlled by governments) of export credit guarantee or insurance programmes, of insurance or guarantee programmes against increases in the cost of exported products or of exchange risk programmes, at premium rates which are inadequate to cover the long-term operating costs and losses of the programmes.

k)   The payment by governments (or by institutions controlled by and/or acting under the authority of governments) of all or part of the costs incurred by exporters or financial institutions in obtaining credits, in so far as they are used to secure a material advantage in the field of export credit terms.

l)   Any other charge on the public account constituting an export subsidy in the sense of Article XVI of GATT 1994.

___________________

Footnotes to the Illustrative List of Export Subsidies

1.    The term "commercially available" means that the choice between domestic and imported products is unrestricted and depends only on commercial considerations.

2.    For the purpose of this Agreement:

The term "direct taxes" shall mean taxes on wages, profits, interests, rents, royalties, and all other forms of income, and taxes on the ownership of real property;

The term "import charges" shall mean tariffs, duties, and other fiscal charges not elsewhere enumerated in this note that are levied on imports;

The term "indirect taxes" shall mean sales, excise, turnover, value added, franchise, stamp, transfer, inventory and equipment taxes, border taxes and all taxes other than direct taxes and import charges;

"Prior stage" indirect taxes are those levied on goods or services used directly or indirectly in making the product;

"Cumulative" indirect taxes are multi-staged taxes levied where there is no mechanism for subsequent crediting of the tax if the goods or services subject to tax at one stage of production are used in a succeeding stage of production;

"Remission" of taxes includes the refund or rebate of taxes;

"Remission or drawback" includes the full or partial exemption or deferral of import charges.

3.    The Parties recognise that deferral need not amount to an export subsidy where, for example, appropriate interest charges are collected. The Parties reaffirm the principle that prices for goods in transactions between exporting enterprises and foreign buyers under their or under the same control should for tax purposes be the prices which would be charged between independent enterprises acting at arm's length. Any Party may draw the attention of another Party to administrative or other practices which may contravene this principle and which result in a significant saving of direct taxes in export transactions. In such circumstances the Parties shall normally attempt to resolve their differences using the facilities of existing bilateral tax treaties or other specific international mechanisms, without prejudice to the rights and obligations of Parties under this Agreement, including the right of consultation created in the preceding sentence. Paragraph (e) is not intended to limit a Party from taking measures to avoid the double taxation of foreign source income earned by its enterprises or the enterprises of another Party.

4.    Paragraph (h) does not apply to value-added tax systems and border-tax adjustment in lieu thereof; the problem of the excessive remission of value-added taxes is exclusively covered by paragraph (g).


ANNEX II

SPECIAL PROVISIONS RELATING TO MEASURES OF SUPPORT

Existing measures of support that are inconsistent with the Agreement are to be eliminated at the time this Agreement enters into force, except as provided in Sections A and B below. Support committed before the entry into force of the Agreement may be paid after entry into force, provided that it complies with the provisions of the understanding set out in paragraph 3 of the Final Act of the negotiations concerning this Agreement.

A.    Support for Restructuring

Support may be provided in accordance with the following notification to the Council Working Party on Shipbuilding:

i)   The Republic of Korea's ongoing programme for Daewoo and KSEC described in [C/WP6(91)58].

ii)   Restructuring assistance in Belgium, Portugal and Spain, information on which is set out in [C/WP6(93)31] and the Accompanying Note 1 to this Annex.

B.    Official Regulations and Practices

Coastwise Laws of the United States

1.    The United States reserves the right to retain the domestic build requirements incorporated in the public laws referred to in the Accompanying Note 2 to this Annex.

2.    Regarding the coastwise laws of the United States which reserve the domestic market for US shipyards, the following will apply:

a)   Any domestic build, rebuild, or repair requirements found in United States laws other than those specified in Accompanying Note 2 to this Annex (hereafter "the coastwise laws") that are inconsistent with the Agreement are subject to elimination as of entry into force of the Agreement.

b)   Recognizing that a permanent derogation for the coastwise laws could undermine the balance of rights and obligations of the Parties under the Agreement and is unacceptable to the other Parties, the Parties agree that responsive measures may be taken as provided below and on the special review and monitoring procedure.

c)   The United States agrees to co-operate in an annual review by the Parties Group and to ensure full transparency regarding the construction of vessels under the coastwise law, including the provision of information on new orders and ratified contracts (both adjusted subsequently for cancellations), expected and actual delivery dates, by tonnage and type of ship. The United States will provide such information no less than annually, and more frequently when requested or appropriate (e.g., when it appears that annual actual and expected deliveries may increase beyond the threshold described below under subparagraph e).

d)   The United States estimates the average annual deliveries for vessels subject to the Agreement constructed under the provisions of the coastwise laws following adoption of the Agreement will not exceed 200,000 gt.

e)   The Parties Group will carefully monitor the information provided under subparagraph c) above. It may by consensus minus one make determinations and authorize responsive measures as specified in subparagraphs (i) and (ii) below.

i)   Until three years after entry into force of the Agreement:

If the Parties Group determines that actual or expected deliveries in any year after the entry into force of this Agreement exceeds 200 000 gt[16] and that such deliveries will significantly undermine the balance of rights and obligations under the Agreement, the Parties Group may authorize one or more affected Parties to take responsive measures (e.g., impose a charge or restriction on bids or contracts) with respect to shipyards that in the year in which the threshold is exceeded benefited from the construction of coastwise vessels, aimed at effecting a loss of sales opportunities comparable to that resulting from deliveries of coastwise vessels in excess of the threshold.

For purposes of this paragraph, actual or expected deliveries in excess of the threshold, as defined above, in any one year establishes a rebuttable presumption of significantly undermining the balance of rights and obligations under this Agreement.

ii)   After three years following entry into force of the Agreement:

If the Parties Group determines that actual or expected deliveries will significantly undermine the balance of rights and obligations under the Agreement, the Parties Group may authorize one or more affected Parties to take responsive measures (e.g., impose a charge or restriction on bids or contracts) with regard to shipyards benefiting from the construction of coastwise vessels, aimed at effecting a loss of sales opportunities or other commercial advantages comparable to that resulting from deliveries of coastwise vessels.

For purposes of this paragraph, there is a rebuttable presumption that the balance of rights and obligations under this Agreement is significantly undermined.

f)   If the United States believes that the level, kind, or duration of the measures taken by a Party or Parties under subparagraph e) result in a loss of sales opportunities for its shipbuilders greater than that caused by the delivery of coastwise vessels, it may invoke dispute panel proceedings under Annex IV of the Agreement. The Panel shall determine whether the measures taken under subparagraph e) are disproportionate or excessive and make appropriate recommendations. Measures taken by the Parties must be made consistent with the Panel's recommendations.

g)   As part of and in sufficient time prior to the first triennial review provided for in Article 11 of the Agreement, the Parties Group shall examine whether the conditions which created the need for Part B of Annex II still prevail and whether the measures provided for under subparagraph e) above are adequate to maintain the balance of rights and obligations under the Agreement. On the basis of that review and with the aim of maintaining the balance of rights and obligations under the Agreement, the Parties Group may decide to:

• modify the provisions of subparagraph e);

• withdraw other rights under the Agreement;

• authorize the withdrawal of GATT concessions; or

• take other appropriate action.

h)   If, after the review called for in subparagraph g) is completed, a Party continues to believe that the responsive measures available to it are unsatisfactory, such Party may withdraw from this Agreement three months after submitting a notification of its determination to this effect to the Parties Group. The same procedures for withdrawal are available to a Party entitled to take the above-mentioned responsive measures at any time after four years from entry into force of this Agreement, if Part B of Annex II remains in effect.


ACCOMPANYING NOTES TO ANNEX II

Note 1: Item A. ii): Restructuring Support

a)   The total amounts of assistance included in the restructuring plans of item A. ii) are as follows:

Spain       180 billion pesetas

Portugal   17.7 million contos

Belgium    2 369 million Belgian francs

b)   These total amounts of assistance consist of the following:

i)   assistance for social measures exempted under Annex I, B.1. h;

ii)   assistance for restructuring costs incurred before the date of signature of the present agreement, committed by the respective national governments and approved by the Commission of the European Community before that date, but which have not been paid due to budgetary problems;

iii)   other assistance for restructuring measures committed and paid, on the basis of costs incurred before 1 January 1996;

iv)   assistance for restructuring measures paid after 1 January 1996, broken out in two categories:

• investment assistance; and

• any assistance for social measures not exempted under Annex I, B.1.h.

c)   The European Community will provide to the Parties Group, in accordance with Article 4 1. b. of the present Agreement information which splits up the amounts mentioned in point a. above into the categories referred to in point b. above, allowing the Parties Group to monitor the restructuring plans.

d)   The European Community can state that assistance paid after the 1 January 1996 and not falling under b) i) and ii) above, will be subject to maximum limits and payment deadlines particular to each country as follows:

Aid Volume

Ultimate Payment

Deadline

Spain

10 billion pesetas

31 December 1998

Portugal

5.2 million contos

31 December 1998

Belgium

1 320 million Belgian francs

31 December 1997

e)   The European Commission has not yet received complete notifications of these restructuring plans as required by the internal legislation of the European Community. The Commission will ensure that the above limits and restrictions on the aid will be fully respected when it takes its final decisions authorising these aids.

Note 2: Item B: Coastwise Laws of the United States

The United States reserves the right to retain the domestic build requirements incorporated in the legislation listed below.

a)   Laws that prohibit the transportation of merchandise between points in the United States except on U.S. built vessels documented under U.S. law and owned by citizens of the United States:

Section 27 of the Act of June 5, 1920 (41 STAT. 999), as amended by the Act of April 11, 1935 (49 STAT. 154); the Act of July 2, 1935 (49 STAT. 442); Section 1 of the Act of July 14, 1956 (70 STAT. 544); Section 27(a) of Public Law 85-508 (72 STAT. 351); Section 1 of Public Law 86-583 (74 STAT. 321); Public Law 89-194 (79 STAT. 823); Section 1 of Public Law 86-583 (74 STAT. 321), Public Law 89-194 (79 STAT. 823); Public Law 90-474 (82 STAT. 700); Section 1 of Public Law 92-163 (85 STAT. 486); Section 213 of Public Law 95-410 (92 STAT. 904); Section 4 of Public Law 96-112 (93 STAT. 848); Section 12(49) of Public Law 97-31 (95 STAT 157); Sections 502 and 504 of Public Law 97-389 (96 STAT. 1954, 1956); Section 6(c)(1) of Public Law 100-239 (101 STAT. 1782, Section 1(a) of Public Law 100-329 (102 STAT. 588); and Section 5501(b) of Public Law 102-587 (106 STAT. 5085).

b)   Laws that prohibit the transportation of passengers between points in the United States except on U.S. built vessels documented under U.S. law and owned by the citizens of the United States:

Section 8 of the Act of June 19, 1886 (24 STAT. 81), as amended by Section 2 of the Act of February 17, 1898 (30 STAT. 248).

c)   Laws requiring that dredges must be built and registered in the United States:

Section 1 of the Act of May 28, 1906 (34 STAT. 204), as amended by Section 5501(a)(1) of Public Law 102-587 (106 STAT. 5084).

d)   Laws requiring that towing vessels must be U.S. built and documented under the laws of the U.S. and owned by citizens of the United States to engage in towing vessels from any port or place in the U.S. to any other port or place in the United States:

Revised Statute No. 4370 (54 STAT. 304), as amended by Section 10 of Public Law 99-307 (100 STAT. 447); and Section 2 of Public Law 100-329 (102 STAT. 589).

e)   Though fishing vessels destined for a country's fishing fleet are excluded from the scope of the Agreement, listed below for the sake of completeness are laws requiring that fishing vessels, fish tender vessels and fish processing vessels operating in U.S. waters, or in the waters of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (unless operating under a permit pursuant to a governing international fishing agreement), must be built in the United States and documented under U.S. law and owned by citizens of the United States:

Section 1 of Public Law 98-89 (97 STAT. 587), as amended by Section 301(c) of Public Law 98-454 (98 STAT. 1734); Section 3(4), (5), 6(a)(6) of Public Law 100-239 (101 STAT. 1779, 1782); and Section 301(a)(8) of Public Law 101-225 (103 STAT. 1921).


ANNEX III

INJURIOUS PRICING CHARGES