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Legislation

Title: EU–China maritime transport agreement
Sectors of Transport: Transport, External relations, Transport, Maritime & inland waterways, Sectoral agreements, Agreements — Transport
Weblinks: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/AUTO/?uri=CELEX:32008D0143 , https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/AUTO/?uri=CELEX:22008A0221(01)
EU–China maritime transport agreement

EU–China maritime transport agreement

 

SUMMARY OF:

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

Decision 2008/143/EC 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

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE AGREEMENT?

  • The agreement aims to improve the conditions under which maritime cargo transport operations are carried out.
  • The decision concludes the agreement on behalf of the European Community, now the European Union (EU).

KEY POINTS

Scope

  • The agreement covers transports to and from China, to and from the EU, as well as to and from the EU and China on the one hand and non-EU countries on the other.
  • The agreement applies to international maritime cargo transport and logistic services, including multimodal operations involving a sea leg, between the ports of China and of the EU Member States and to international maritime cargo transport between the ports of the Member States.
  • It also applies to cross trades* and to the movement of equipment such as empty containers, not being carried as cargo against payment, between ports of China or between ports of a Member State.

Principles

The agreement is based on a number of principles:

  • the 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 and regarding commercial presence.

Main elements

The agreement establishes a number of specific obligations for China with regard to the EU and vice versa.

  • It sets out the obligation of national treatment to vessels flying the EU flag and/or being operated by EU nationals and/or companies regarding:
    • access to ports;
    • the use of infrastructure and auxiliary maritime services of those ports, and related fees and charges;
    • customs formalities and assignment of berths and facilities for loading and unloading.
  • For multimodal international transport which includes a sea leg, China must allow EU shipping companies to establish wholly owned or jointly invested subsidiaries, branches or representative offices under Chinese law.
  • Such wholly owned or jointly invested subsidiaries, branches or representative offices can employ key personnel under Chinese law.
  • Revenues of EU nationals or companies derived from international maritime transport and multimodal operations in China can be settled in freely convertible currencies:
    • earnings of the subsidiaries, branches and representative offices of the EU shipping companies in China can be freely remitted abroad at the exchange rate of the bank on the date of remittance.
  • To encourage maritime cooperation within the International Maritime Organization, International Labour Organization and World Trade Organization, and within the fields of:
    • maritime safety;
    • marine pollution prevention;
    • maritime education and training;
    • enhancing efforts for combating piracy and terrorism;
    • exchanges of personnel, scientific information and technology.

DATE OF ENTRY INTO FORCE

It entered into force on 1 March 2008.

BACKGROUND

For further information, see:

KEY TERMS

Cross trades. When cargo is moved between an origin and destination without it entering the country where the shipper is registered.

MAIN DOCUMENTS

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 L 46, 21.2.2008, pp. 25–36).

Successive amendments to the agreement have been incorporated in the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

Council Decision 2008/143/EC 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 L 46, 21.2.2008, pp. 23–24).

last update 14.01.2022

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