Import Duties: Western Sahara

Treasury written question – answered on 6th July 2018.

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Photo of Ian Lavery Ian Lavery Co-National Campaign Coordinator, Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office), Party Chair, Labour Party

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the 21 December 2016 ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union in Polisario vs Council, whether imports from Western Sahara are subject to the preferential tariffs under the EU's trade agreement with Morocco.

Photo of Mel Stride Mel Stride Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Paymaster General

On 21 December 2016 the European Court of Justice ruled that the EU-Morocco trade agreement (known as the Association Agreement) did not apply to Western Sahara and that preferential tariffs could not therefore be applied to products originating in Western Sahara.

The European Union has negotiated with Morocco following the court ruling. The EU has put forward a proposal to the Council to amend the relevant protocols of the Association Agreement to amend the territorial scope of the origin of products which could benefit from tariff preferences. The EU has consulted a wide spectrum of Western Saharan representatives, stake-holders, civil society, and other organisations.

The proposed Council Decisions and report of the EU’s consultations are publicly available on the EU’s website:

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/FR/TXT/?qid=1528727963950&uri=COM:2018:479:FIN, and

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/FR/TXT/?qid=1528728345252&uri=COM:2018:481:FIN, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/FR/TXT/?qid=1528728473699&uri=SWD:2018:346:FIN

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