Ondřej Svoboda | Ministry od Industry and Commerce of the Czech republic, Prague

Mixed or Exclusive? The Nature of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement according to European Law

Jurisprudence 6/2015 Section: Articles Page: 24-31

Keywords: mixity, exlusivity, trade facilitation, GATT, European Union, WTO

Abstract: A distinction of EU’s international trade agreements with third countries between mixed and exclusive is an intriguing object for an analysis, particularly in the context of the World Trade Organisation. This article concentrates on legal examination of the nature of the Trade Facilitation Agreement, the most recent WTO multilateral agreement. Regarding its purpose the Agreement must be scrutinized in connection with the GATT whose designated provisions are clarified. Despite of the ECJ’s conclusion in the 90s that the GATT is within exclusive competence of the EU, the content of the Trade Facilitation Agreement can contain elements of mixity. Therefore, further analysis based on the EU’s customs rules and European courts’ case law is needed. Following the inquiry, the article concludes that the Agreement falls within excusive competence of the EU.