Proposal for a COUNCIL DECISION on the position to be taken on behalf of the European Union in the Association Committee in Trade configuration
1. The proposed Decision is to authorise the position to be taken on the EU’s behalf in a committee created as part of the EU-Moldova Association Agreement, and which has the power to amend the content of that agreement.
2. The Association Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Moldova (‘Moldova’) entered fully into force on 1st July 2016. This Agreement established a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, one of the objects of which is the progressive reduction or elimination of customs duties on the trade in goods between the EU and Moldova.
3. The Agreement established an “Association Committee in Trade configuration” (the ‘Committee’). By decision 3/2014 of the EU-Republic of Moldova Association Council, the Association Council delegated to the Committee the power to update or amend the annexes to the Agreement which concern trade. The Agreement provides that the EU and Moldova shall examine through the Committee, on an appropriate reciprocal basis, opportunities for granting each other further concessions with a view to improving liberalisation of trade in agricultural products, in particular those products subject to tariff-rate quotas (TRQs). The Committee also has the power to amend, by mutual consent, the trigger volumes for products subject to the anti-circumvention mechanism specified in the Agreement. The mechanism’s purpose is to provide protection against large increases in the volume of certain agricultural commodities being exported from Moldova to the EU; in particular it is a defence against another non-EU country exporting to Moldova and then the produce being re-exported to the EU. When the trigger volume is reached, the EU can apply a temporary suspension to imports.