Caribbean Trade Reference Centre


THE DICKENSON BAY AGREEMENT

AGREEMENT ESTABLISHING THE CARIBBEAN FREE TRADE ASSOCIATION



The Governments of Antigua, Barbados and British Guiana -

SHARING a common determination to fulfil within the shortest possible time the hopes and aspirations of their peoples of other Caribbean countries for full employment and improved living standards;

CONSCIOUS that these goals can most rapidly be attained by the optimum use of available human and other resources and by accelerated and sustained economic development;

AWARE that the broadening of domestic markets through the elimination of barriers to trade between the territories is a prerequisite to such development;

CONVINCED that such elimination of barriers to trade can best be achieved by the immediate establishment of a Free Trade Economic Community for all the countries who so desire;

HAVE AGREED as follows:-

ARTICLE 1
ASSOCIATION

1. An Association to be called the Caribbean Free Trade Association (hereinafter referred to as "the Association") is hereby established.

2. The Members of the Association, hereinafter referred to as "Member Territories" shall be the Territories on behalf of the Governments of which this Agreement is ratified in accordance with Article 31 and such other Territories as participate therein by virtue of paragraph 1 of Article 32.

3. The institutions of the Association shall be a Council and such organs as the Council may set up.

4. The Caribbean Free Trade Association shall operate over the areas of the Member Territories collectively called the Caribbean Free Trade Area (hereinafter referred to as "the Area").

ARTICLE 2
OBJECTIVES

The objectives of the Association shall be

a) to promote the expansion and diversification of trade in the area of the Association;

(b) to secure that trade between member territories takes place in conditions of fair competition;

(c) to encourage the progressive development of the economies of the Area;

(d) to foster the harmonious development of Caribbean trade and its liberalisation by the removal of barriers to it.

ARTICLE 3
EXCLUSION FROM THIS AGREEMENT

The provisions of the Agreement shall not affect the rights and obligations under any agreements entered into by any of the parties to this agreement before it is signed:

Provided, however, that each Party shall take any steps at its disposal which are necessary to reconcile the provisions of any such agreements with the purposes of this Agreement.

ARTICLE 4
IMPORT DUTIES

1. Subject to the provisions of Annex A, Member Territories shall not apply any import duties on goods which are eligible for Area tariff treatment in accordance with Article 5.

2. For the purposes of this Article and Annex A, the term "import duties" means any tax or surtax of customs and any other charges of equivalent effect - whether fiscal, monetary or exchange - which are levied on imports, except duties notified under Article 7 and other charges which fall within that Article.

3. The provisions of this Article do not apply to fees and similar charges in respect of services rendered.

ARTICLE 5
AREA ORIGIN FOR TARIFF PURPOSES

1. For the purposes of Articles 4 - 8, goods shall, subject to Annex B, be accepted as eligible for Area tariff treatment if they are consigned from a Member Territory to a consignee in the importing Member Territory and if they are of Area origin under any one of the following conditions -

(a) that they have been wholly produced within the area;

(b) that they fall within a description of goods listed in a process list to be established by decision of the Council and have been produced within the area by the appropriate qualifying process described in that List;

(c) that they have been produced within the Area and that the value of any materials imported from outside the Area or of undetermined origin which have been used at any stage of the production of the good does not exceed 50 percent of the export price of the goods.

2. For the purposes of sub-paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of paragraph 1 of this Article, materials listed in the Basic Materials List which forms the schedule to Annex B, which have been used in the state described in that List in a process of production within the Area, shall be deemed to contain no element imported from outside the Area.

3. Nothing in this agreement shall prevent a Member Territory from accepting as eligible for Area tariff treatment any imports consigned from another Member Territory, provided that the like imports consigned from any Member Territory are accorded the same treatment.

4. Provisions necessary for the administration and effective application of this Article are contained in Annex B.

5. The Council may decide to amend the provisions of this Article, Annex B and the Process List established under sub-paragraph (b) of paragraph 1 of this Article.

6. The Council shall from time to time examine in what respect this Agreement can be amended in order to ensure the smooth operation of the origin rules.

ARTICLE 6
DEFLECTION OF TRADE

1. For the purpose of this Article, trade is said to be deflected when-

(a) imports into a Member Territory of consignments of a particular product from another Member Territory are increasing-

(i) as a result of the reduction or elimination in the importing Member Territory of duties and charges in that product in accordance with Article 4 or 7, and

(ii) because the duties or charges levied by the exporting Member territory on imports of raw materials or intermediate products, used in the production of the product in by the importing Member Territory, and

(b) this increase in imports causes or would cause serious injury to production which is carried on in the importing Member Territory.

2. The Council shall keep under review the question of deflections of trade and their causes. It shall take such decisions as are necessary in order to deal with the causes of deflection of trade by amending the rules of origin in accordance with paragraph 5 or Article 5 or by such other means as it may consider appropriate.

3. If a deflection of trade of a particularly urgent nature occurs, any Member Territory may refer the matter to the Council. The Council shall take its decision as quickly as possible and, in general within one month. The Council may, by majority decision, authorise interim measures to safeguard the position of the Member Territory in question. Such measures shall not continue for longer than is necessary for the procedure under paragraph 2 above to take place, and for not more than two months, unless in exceptional cases, the Council, by majority decision, authorises an extension of this period by not more than two months.

4. A Member Territory which is considering the reduction of the effective level of its duties or charges on any product not eligible for Area tariff treatment shall, as far as may be practicable, notify the Council not less than thirty (30) days before such reduction comes into effect, and shall consider any representations by other Member Territories that the reduction is likely to lead to a deflection of trade. Information received under this paragraph shall not be disclosed to any person outside the service of the Association or the Governments of Member Territories.

5. When considering changes in their duties or charges on any product not eligible for Area tariff treatment, Member Territories shall have due regard to the desirability of avoiding consequential deflections of trade. In case of any such change, any Member territory which considers that trade is being deflected may refer the matter to the Council in accordance with Article 26.

6. If, in the consideration of any complaint in accordance with Article 26, reference is made to a difference in the level of duties or charges on any product not eligible for Area tariff treatment, that difference shall be taken into account only if the Council finds by a majority vote that there is a deflection of trade.

7. The Council shall review from time to time the provisions of this Article and may decide to amend those provisions.

ARTICLE 7
REVENUE DUTIES AND INTERNAL TAXATION

1. Subject to the provisions of Annex C, Member Territories shall not -

(a) apply directly or indirectly to imported goods any fiscal charges in excess of those applied directly or indirectly to like domestic goods, nor otherwise apply such charges so as to afford effective protection to like domestic goods; or

(b) apply fiscal charges to imported goods of a kind which they do not produce, or which they do not produce in substantial quantities, in such a way as to afford effective protection to the domestic production of goods of a different kind which are substitutable for the imported goods, which enter into direct competition with them which do not bear, directly or indirectly, in the country of importation, fiscal charges of equivalent incidence.

2. A Member Territory shall notify the Council of all fiscal charges applied by it where, although the rates of charge, or the conditions governing the imposition or collection of the charge, are not identical in relation to the imported goods and to the like domestic goods, the Member Territory applying the charge considers that the charge is, or has been made, consistent with sub-paragraph (a) of paragraph 1 of this Article. Each Member Territory shall, at the request of any other Member Territory, supply information about the application of paragraph 1 of this Article.

3. For the purposes of this Article and Annex C -

(a) "fiscal charges" means revenue duties, internal taxes and other internal charges on goods;

(b) "revenue duties" means customs duties and other similar charges applied primarily for the purpose of raising revenue; and

(c) "imported goods" means goods which are accepted as being eligible for area tariff treatment in accordance with Article 5.

ARTICLE 8
EXPORT DRAWBACK

Each Member Territory may refuse to accept as eligible for Area tariff treatment goods which benefit from export drawback allowed by Member territories in which the goods have undergone the process of production which form the basis of the claim to Area origin. In applying this paragraph, each Member Territory shall accord the same treatment to imports consigned from all other Member Territories.

For the purpose of this Article-

(a) "export drawback" means any arrangement for the refund or remission, wholly or in part, of import duties applicable to imported materials, provided that the arrangement, expressly or in effect, allows refund or remission if certain goods or materials are exported, but not if they are retained for home use;

(b) "remission" includes exemption from duties for materials brought into free ports and other places which have similar customs privileges;

(c) "duties" means (i) all charges on or in connection with importation, except fiscal charges to which Article 7 applies and (ii) any protective element in such fiscal charges;

(d) "materials" and "process of production" have the meanings assigned to them in Rule 1 of Annex B.

ARTICLE 9
PROHIBITION OF EXPORT DUTIES

1. Member Territories shall not apply any export duties.

2. The provisions of this article shall not prevent any member Territory from taking such measures as are necessary to prevent evasion, by means of re-export, of duties which it applies to exports to territories outside the Area.

3. For the purposes of this Article, "export duties" means any duties or charges with equivalent effect imposed on or in connection with the exportation of goods from any Member Territory to a consignee in any other Member Territory.

ARTICLE 10
CO-OPERATION IN CUSTOMS ADMINISTRATION

Member Territories shall take appropriate measures, including arrangements regarding administrative co-operation, to ensure that the provisions of Articles 4 to 8 and of Annexes A, B and C are effectively and harmoniously applied, taking account of the need to reduce as far as possible the formalities imposed on trade and of the need to achieve mutually satisfactory solution of any difficulties arising out of the operation of those provisions.

ARTICLE 11
FREEDOM OF TRANSIT

Products imported into, or exported from, a Member Territory shall enjoy freedom of transit within the Area and shall only be subject to the payment of the normal rates for services rendered.

ARTICLE 12
DUMPED AND SUBSIDISED IMPORTS

1. Nothing in this Agreement shall prevent any Member Territory from taking action against dumped or subsidised imports consistently with any international obligations to which it is subject.

2. Any products which have been exported from one Member Territory to a consignee in another Member territory and have not undergone any manufacturing process since exportation shall, when re-imported into the first member territory, be admitted free of quantitative restrictions and measures with equivalent effect. They shall also be admitted free of customs duties and charges with equivalent effect, except that any allowance by way of drawback, relief from duty or otherwise, given by reason of the exportation from the first member territory, may be recovered.

3. If any industry in any Member Territory is suffering or is threatened with material injury as the result of the import of dumped or subsidised products into another Member Territory, the latter Member Territory shall, at the request of the former Member Territory, examine the possibility of taking, consistently with any international obligations to which it is subject, action to remedy the injury or prevent the threatened injury.

ARTICLE 13
QUANTITATIVE IMPORT RESTRICTIONS

1. Subject to the provisions of Annex D, a Member Territory shall not apply any quantitative restrictions on imports of goods from any other part of the area.

2. For the purposes of the proceeding paragraph and Annex D,

"Quantitative restrictions" means prohibitions or restrictions on imports into any Member Territory from any other part of the area whether made effective through quotas, import licences or other measures with equivalent effect, including administrative measures and requirements restricting import.

3. The provisions of this article shall not prevent any Member territory from taking such measures are as necessary to prevent evasion of any prohibitions or restrictions which it applies to imports from territories outside the area.

ARTICLE 14
QUANTITATIVE EXPORT RESTRICTIONS

1. A Member Territory shall not apply any prohibitions or restrictions on exports to any other part of the Area, whether made effective through quotas or export licences or other measures with equivalent effect.

2. The provisions of this Article shall not prevent any Member Territory from taking such measures as are necessary to prevent evasion of any prohibitions or restrictions which it applies to exports to territories outside the Area.

ARTICLE 15
GENERAL EXCEPTIONS

Provided that such measures are not used as a means of arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination between Member Territories , or as a disguised restriction on the inter-territorial trade of the Area, nothing in Articles 13 and 14 shall prevent the adoption or enforcement by any Member Territory of Measures-

(a) necessary to protect public morals;

(b) necessary for the prevention of disorder or crime;

(c) necessary to protect human, animal or plant life or health;

(d) necessary to secure compliance with laws or regulations relating to customs enforcement, or to the classification, grading or marketing of goods, or to the operation of monopolies by means of state enterprises or enterprises given exclusive or special privileges;

(e) necessary to protect industrial property or copyrights or to prevent deceptive practices;

(f) relating to gold or silver;

(g) relating to the products of prison labour;

(h) imposed for the protection of national treasures of artistic, historic or archaeological value; or

(i) necessary to prevent or relieve critical shortages of foodstuffs in any exporting Member Territory.

ARTICLE 16
SECURITY EXCEPTIONS

Nothing in the Agreement shall prevent any Member Territory from taking action which it considers necessary for the protection of its essential security interests, where such action-

(a) is taken to prevent the disclosure of information;

(b) relates to trade in arms, ammunition or war materials or to research, development or production indispensable for defence purposes, provided that such action does not include the application of import duties or the quantitative restriction of imports except in so far as such restriction is permitted in accordance with Article 15 or is authorised by decision of the council;

(c) is taken to ensure that nuclear materials and equipment made available for peaceful purposes do not further military purposes; or

(d) is taken in time of war or other emergency in international relations.

2. Nothing in this Agreement shall prevent any Member Territory from taking action to perform any obligations to which it is subject for the purpose of maintaining international peace and security.

ARTICLE 17
GOVERNMENT AIDS

1. A Member territory shall not maintain or introduce-

(a) the forms of aid to export of goods to any other part of the Area of the kinds which are described in Annex E; or

(b) any other form of aid, the main purpose or effect of which is to frustrate the benefits expected from such removal or absence of duties and quantitative restrictions as is required by this agreement.

2. If the application of any form of aid by a Member territory, although not contrary to paragraph 1 of this Article , frustrates the benefits expected from such removal or absence of duties and quantitative restrictions as is required by this Agreement and provided that the procedure set out in paragraphs 1 to 3 of Article 26 has been followed, the Council may, by majority decision, authorise any Member Territory to suspend to the Member Territory which is supplying aid, the application of such obligations under this Agreement as the Council considers appropriate.

3. The Council may decide to amend the provisions of this Article and of Annex B.

ARTICLE 18
PUBLIC UNDERTAKINGS

1. Member Territories shall ensure the elimination in the practices of public undertakings, of-

(a) measures the effect of which is to afford protection to domestic production which would be inconsistent with this Agreement if achieved by means of a duty or charge with equivalent effect or quantitative restriction or government aid; or

(b) trade discrimination on grounds of Territorial origin in so far as it frustrates the benefits expected from such removal or absence of duties and quantitative restrictions as is required by this Agreement.

2. In so far as the provisions of Article 19 are relevant to the activities of public undertakings, that Article shall apply to them in the same way as it applies to other enterprises.

3. Member Territories shall ensure that new practices of the kind described in paragraph 1 of this Article are not introduced.

4. Where Member Territories do not have the necessary legal powers to control the activities of regional or local government authorities or enterprises under their control in these matters, they shall nevertheless endeavour to ensure that those authorities or enterprises comply with the provisions of this Article.

5. The Council shall keep the provisions of this Article under review and may decide to amend them.

6. For the purpose of this Article, "public undertakings" means central, regional or local government authorities, public enterprises and any other organisation by means of which a Member Territory by law or in practice controls or appreciably influences imports from, or exports to, any other part of the Area.

ARTICLE 19
RESTRICTIVE BUSINESS PRACTICES

1. Member Territories recognise that the following practices are incompatible with this Agreement in so far as they frustrate the benefits expected from such removal or absence of duties and quantitative restrictions as is required by this Agreement -

(a) agreement between enterprises, decisions by association of enterprises and concerted practices between enterprises which have as their object or result the prevention, restriction or distortion of competition within the area;

(b) actions by which one or more enterprises take unfair advantage of a dominant position within the Area or a substantial part of it.

2. If any practice of the kind described in paragraph 1 of this Article is referred to the Council in accordance with Article 26, the Council may, in any recommendation in accordance with paragraph 3 or in any decision in accordance with paragraph 4 of that Article, make provision for publication of a report on the circumstances of the matter.

3. (a) In the light of experience gained, the Council shall consider before 31st December,1967, and may consider at any time thereafter whether further or different provisions are necessary to deal with the effect of restrictive business practices or dominant enterprises on the inter-territorial trade of the Area.

(b) Such review shall include consideration of the following matters -

(i) specification of the restrictive business practices or dominant enterprises with which the Council should be concerned;

(ii) methods of securing information about restrictive business practices or dominant enterprises;

(iii) procedures for investigations;

(iv) whether the right to initiate inquiries should be conferred on the Council.

(c) The Council may decide to make the provisions found necessary as a result of the review envisaged in sub-paragraphs (a) and (b) of this paragraph.

ARTICLE 20
ESTABLISHMENT

1. Each Member Territory recognises that restrictions on the establishment and operation of economic enterprises therein by persons belonging to other Member Territories should not be applied, through accord to such persons of treatment which is less favourable than that accorded in such matters to persons belonging to that Member Territory, in such a way as to frustrate the benefits expected from such removal or absence of duties and quantitative restrictions as is required by this Agreement.

2. Member Territories shall not apply new restrictions in such a way that they conflict with the principle set out in paragraph 1 of this Article.

3. A Member Territory shall notify the Council within such period as the Council may decide of particulars of any restrictions which it applies in such a way that persons belonging to another Member Territory are accorded in the first-mentioned Territory less favourable treatment in respect of the matters set out in paragraph 1 of this Article than is accorded to persons belonging thereto.

4. The Council shall consider before 31st December, 1967, and may consider at any time thereafter, whether further or different provisions are necessary to give effect to the principles set out in paragraph 1 of this Article and may decide to make the necessary provisions.

5. Nothing in this Article shall prevent the adoption and enforcement by a Member Territory of measures for the control of entry, residence, activity and departure of persons where such measures are justified by reasons of public order, public health or morality, or national security of that Member Territory.

6. For the purposes of this Article-

(a) a person shall be regarded as belonging to a Member Territory if such person-

(i) is a citizen of that Territory;

(ii) has a connection with that Territory of a kind which entitles him to be regarded as belonging to, or, if it be so expressed, as being a native of, the Territory for the purpose of such laws thereof relating to immigration as are for the time being in force ; or

(iii) is a company or other legal person constituted in the Member Territory in conformity with the law thereof and which that territory regards as belonging to it, provided that such company or other legal person has been formed for gainful purposes and has its registered office and central administration, and carries on substantial activity, within the Area;

(b) "economic enterprises" means any type of economic enterprises for production of or commerce in goods which are of Area origin, whether conducted by individuals or through agencies, branches or companies or other legal persons.

ARTICLE 21
BALANCE OF PAYMENTS DIFFICULTIES

1. Notwithstanding the provisions of Article 13 any Member Territory may, consistently with any international obligations to which it is subject, introduce quantitative restrictions on imports for the purpose of safeguarding its balance of payments.

2. Any Member Territory taking measures in accordance with paragraph 1 of this Article shall notify them to the Council, if possible before they come into force. The Council shall examine the situation and keep it under review and may at any time by majority vote make recommendations designed to moderate any damaging effect of these restrictions or to assist the Member Territory concerned to overcome its difficulties. If the balance of payments difficulties persist for more than 18 months and the measures applied seriously disturb the operation of the Association, the Council shall examine the situation and may, taking into account the interests of all Member Territories, by majority decision, devise special procedures to attenuate or compensate for the effect of such measures.

3. A Member Territory which has taken measures in accordance with paragraph 1 of this Article shall have regard to its obligation to resume the full application of Article 13 and shall, as soon as its balance of payments situation improves, make proposals to the Council on the way in which this should be done. The Council, if it is not satisfied that these proposals are adequate, may recommend to the Member Territories alternative arrangements to the same end. Decisions of the Council pursuant to this paragraph shall be made by majority vote.

ARTICLE 22
DIFFICULTIES IN PARTICULAR SECTORS

1. If, in a Member Territory -

(a) an appreciable rise in the unemployment in a particular sector of industry or region is caused by a substantial decrease in internal demand for a domestic product, and

(b) this decrease in demand is due to an increase in imports consigned from other Member Territories as a result of the progressive reduction or the elimination of duties, charges and quantitative restrictions in accordance with Articles 4, 7 and 13, that Member Territory may, notwithstanding any other provisions of this Agreement -

(i) limit those imports by means of quantitative restrictions to a rate not less than the rate of such imports during any period of twelve months which ended within twelve months of the date on which the restrictions come into force; the restrictions shall not be continued for a period longer than eighteen months, unless the Council, by majority decision, authorises their continuance for such further period and on such conditions as the Council considers appropriate; and

(ii) take such measures, either instead of or in addition to restriction of imports in accordance with sub-paragraph (i) of this paragraph, as the Council may, by majority decision, authorise.

2. In applying measures in accordance with paragraph 1 of this Article, a Member Territory shall give like treatment to imports consigned from all Member Territories.

3. A Member Territory applying restrictions in accordance with sub-paragraph (i) of this Article shall notify them to the Council, if possible before they come into force. The Council may at any time consider those restrictions and may, by majority vote make recommendations designed to moderate any damaging effect of those restrictions or to assist the Member State concerned to overcome its difficulties.

4. This article shall have effect until 31st December, 1970.

5. Before 1st January, 1971, if the Council considers that some provision similar to those in paragraphs 1 to 3 of this Article will be required thereafter, it may decide that such provisions shall have effect for any period after that date.

ARTICLE 23
APPROXIMATION OF INCENTIVE LEGISLATION

1. A Tax of any kind in a Member Territory shall not, by the introduction or extension of incentive provisions at any time after this Agreement takes effect, be rendered liable to mitigation to any extent to which no tax of that kind elsewhere in the Area (if any) is rendered by incentive provisions previously introduced or extended, liable to mitigation.

2. A Member Territory which is considering the introduction or alteration of any incentive provisions shall, as far as may be practicable, notify the Council not less than thirty days before such introduction or alteration comes into effect, and shall consider any representations with respect thereto by other Member Territories, any of which may refer the matter to the Council under Article 26 if a breach of this Article is apprehended. Information received under this paragraph shall not be disclosed to any person outside the service of the Association or the Governments of Member Territories.

3. The Council may on its own initiative recommend to Member Territories proposals for the approximation of incentive provisions within the Area. Such proposals may include schemes for the increase or reduction of concessions within the Area consistently with the provisions of the foregoing Articles of this Agreement, and , may be implemented notwithstanding anything provided in paragraph 1 of this Article. The Council may take any appropriate measure provided for in this Agreement in furtherance of the objectives of this Article.

4. The Council may from time to time review the provisions of this Article and may decide to amend those provisions.

5. For the purposes of this Article -

"incentive provisions" means any legislation or practice providing for the granting of concessions for the purpose of encouraging the establishment or development of manufacturing industry;

"concessions" means any tax exemptions or remissions or refunds of tax;

"tax" includes any impost, duty or due.

ARTICLE 24
ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL POLICIES

Member Territories recognise that the economic and financial policies of each of them affect the economies of other Member Territories and intend to pursue those policies in a manner which serves to promote the objectives of the Association. They shall periodically exchange views on all aspects of those policies. The Council may make recommendations to Member Territories on matters relating to these policies to the extent necessary to ensure the attainment of the objectives of the smooth operation of the Association.

ARTICLE 25
INVISIBLES

Member Territories recognise the importance of invisible transactions and transfers for the proper functioning of the Association. The Council may decide on provisions with regard to such transactions and transfers as may prove desirable, having due regard to any international obligations to which Member Territories are subject.

ARTICLE 26
GENERAL CONSULTATIONS AND COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE

1. If any Member Territory considers that any benefit conferred upon it by this Agreement or any objective of the Association is being or may be frustrated and if no satisfactory settlement is reached between the Member Territories concerned, any of those Member Territories may refer the matter to the Council.

2. The Council shall promptly, by majority vote, make arrangements for examining the matter. Such arrangements may include a reference to an examining committee constituted in accordance with Article 27. Before taking action under paragraph 3 of this Article, the Council shall so refer the matter at the request of any Member Territory concerned. Member Territories shall furnish all information which they can make available and shall lend their assistance to establish the facts.

3. When considering the matter, the Council shall have regard to whether it has been established that an obligation under this agreement has not been fulfilled and whether and to what extent any benefit conferred by this Agreement or any objective of the Association is being or may be frustrated. In the light of this consideration and of the report of any examining committee which may have been appointed, the Council may, by majority vote, make to any Member Territory such recommendations as it considers appropriate.

4. If a Member Territory does not or is unable to comply with a recommendation made in accordance with paragraph 3 of this Article and the Council finds, by majority vote, that an obligation under this Agreement has not been fulfilled, the Council may, by majority decision, authorise any Member Territory to suspend to the Member territory which has not complied with the recommendation the application of such obligations under this Agreement as the Council considers appropriate.

5. Any Member Territory may, at any time while the matter is under consideration, request the Council to authorise as a matter of urgency, interim measures to safeguard its position. If it is found by majority vote of the Council that the circumstances are sufficiently serious to justify interim action, and without prejudice to any action which it may subsequently take in accordance with the preceding paragraphs of this Article, the Council may, by majority decision, authorise a Member Territory to suspend its obligations under this Agreement to such an extent and for such a period as the Council considers appropriate.

ARTICLE 27
EXAMINING COMMITTEES

The examining committees referred to in Article 26 shall consist of persons selected for their competence and integrity, who, in the performance of their duties, shall neither seek nor receive instructions from any Territory or from any authority or organisation other than the Association. They shall be appointed, on such terms and conditions as may be decided, by majority vote of the Council.

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