CUSTOMS ADMINISTRATION AND TRADE FACILITATION
Article 5.1: Customs Procedures and Facilitation of Trade
Each Party shall ensure that its customs procedures are applied in a manner that is predictable, consistent and transparent.
Article 5.2: Customs Cooperation
1. With a view to facilitating the effective operation of this Agreement, each
(a) encourage cooperation with other Parties regarding significant customs issues that affect goods traded between the Parties; and
(b) endeavour to provide each Party with advance notice of any significant administrative change, modification of a law or regulation, or similar measure related to its laws or regulations that governs importations or exportations, that is likely to substantially affect the operation of this Agreement.
2. Each Party shall, in accordance with its law, cooperate with the other Parties through information sharing and other activities as appropriate, to achieve compliance with their respective laws and regulations that pertain to:
(a) the implementation and operation of the provisions of this Agreement governing importations or exportations, including claims for preferential tariff treatment, procedures for making claims for preferential tariff treatment and verification procedures;
(b) the implementation, application and operation of the Customs
(c) restrictions or prohibitions on imports or exports;
(d) investigation and prevention of customs offences, including duty evasion and smuggling; and
(e) other customs matters as the Parties may decide.
3. If a Party has a reasonable suspicion of unlawful activity related to its laws or regulations governing importations, it may request that another Party provide
specific confidential information that is normally collected in connection with the importation of goods.
4. If a Party makes a request under paragraph 3, it shall: (a) be in writing;
(b) specify the purpose for which the information is sought; and
(c) identify the requested information with sufficient specificity for the other Party to locate and provide the information.
5. The Party from which the information is requested under paragraph 3 shall, subject to its law and any relevant international agreements to which it is a party, provide a written response containing the requested information.
6. For the purposes of paragraph 3, “a reasonable suspicion of unlawful activity” means a suspicion based on relevant factual information obtained from public or private sources comprising one or more of the following:
(a) historical evidence of non-compliance with laws or regulations that govern importations by an importer or exporter;
(b) historical evidence of non-compliance with laws or regulations that govern importations by a manufacturer, producer or other person involved in the movement of goods from the territory of one Party to the territory of another Party;
(c) historical evidence of non-compliance with laws or regulations that govern importations by some or all of the persons involved in the movement of goods within a specific product sector from the territory of one Party to the territory of another Party; or
(d) other information that the requesting Party and the Party from which the information is requested agree is sufficient in the context of a particular request.
7. Each Party shall endeavour to provide another Party with any other information that would assist that Party to determine whether imports from, or exports to, that Party are in compliance with the receiving Party’s laws or regulations that govern importations, in particular those related to unlawful activities, including smuggling and similar infractions.
8. In order to facilitate trade between the Parties, a Party receiving a request shall endeavour to provide the Party that made the request with technical advice and assistance for the purpose of:
(a) developing and implementing improved best practices and risk management techniques;
(b) facilitating the implementation of international supply chain standards;
(c) simplifying and enhancing procedures for clearing goods through customs in a timely and efficient manner;
(d) developing the technical skill of customs personnel; and
(e) enhancing the use of technologies that can lead to improved compliance with the requesting Party’s laws or regulations that govern importations.
9. The Parties shall endeavour to establish or maintain channels of communication for customs cooperation, including by establishing contact points in order to facilitate the rapid and secure exchange of information and improve coordination on importation issues.
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