What Is The Efta Agreement

What Is The Efta Agreement

The main difference between the EEC and EFTA was that, unlike the former, they had not gone through common external tariffs: each EFTA member was free to set their individual tariffs against or its individual free trade agreements with non-EFTA countries. Schengen is not part of the EEA agreement. However, the four EFTA states participate in Schengen and Dublin through bilateral agreements. They apply all the provisions of the acquis in question. What is the transition period and what does it mean for the UK`s relationship with the EEA-EFTA states? Given that Switzerland is an EFTA member state but is not part of the EEA, what will be the future trade relationship between Switzerland and the United Kingdom? Article 56.3 of the EFTA Convention stipulates that a new EFTA Member State «requests membership of free trade agreements between Member States on the one hand and third countries, state associations or international organisations, on the other.» As a member of a customs union, a country that joins EFTA has not been able to fulfil this obligation. EFTA membership does not exclude the establishment of a customs agreement with the EU; existing EFTA countries regulate their relations with the EU through different instruments. Can EFTA member states also sign bilateral free trade agreements? The Geneva headquarters is responsible for the management and negotiation of free trade agreements with third countries and supports the EFTA Council. Switzerland and the United Kingdom have concluded and signed several agreements in areas such as trade, migration, air services, road transport, financial services and citizens` rights. These agreements will be in effect pending the negotiation and entry into force of a new free trade agreement.

Due to Liechtenstein`s participation in Swiss customs territory, parts of these agreements have also been extended to Liechtenstein. The first objective of EFTA was the liberalisation of trade between its Member States. In 1972, each EFTA state concluded bilateral free trade agreements with the EEC. Currently, 29 free trade agreements are in force in EFTA countries or are awaiting ratification for 40 partner countries around the world (outside Europe). The UK Government has made it clear that it does not intend to apply for EFTA membership. However, if the United Kingdom were to attempt to re-enter EFTA, EFTA Member States would carefully consider the application. An application for EFTA membership would be considered by the EFTA Council if decisions are taken by mutual agreement. The time has not come to anticipate the outcome, as EFTA remains open to consideration of all options to safeguard the interests of its Member States. On April 29, 2009, Canada announced royal approval of legislation transposing the free trade agreement signed with the countries of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).

The Council examines substantive issues, including the development of EFTA relations with third countries and the management of free trade agreements, and examines the relationship with the policy and administration of EU third countries in general.

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