In the morning hours of the 11th September 2001 the United States of America were demonstrated their weakness and vulnerability. Consequently, the western nations had to rearrange international security standards. Accordingly, international organisations launched several new regulations. The USA released the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) regulations shortly after the 9/11 attacks. The World Customs Organisation (WCO) released the SAFE-Framework as a guideline for implementing Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) programmes into national legislation. The European Union (EU) created an own AEO programme and implemented it into the European Customs Code. Customs compliance programmes are dedicated to improve the security of international supply chains, but the participation is voluntary and only available for companies established on the EU- or US-markets. Additionally, applying organisations must be engaged in international commerce. Due to these restrictive criteria, the EU-AEO and C-TPAT work in favour of companies located on EU- and US-markets. Although international terrorism is categorises by the UNO as serious threat to international peace and security, counter-terrorism measures with trade restrictive character should not shift from protection to protectionism. Generally, restrictions to trade are contradictory to core principles of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Consequently, the EU-AEO and C-TPAT regulations could be violations of international trade law. Both regulations refer to common international standards. Due to the lex specialis derogate generali principle mentioned in the WTO preamble, the TBT agreement has to be analysed prior to the GATT. A violation of core GATT principles can be justified if national interests are endangered. This fact moves customs compliance programmes into the scope of Article XX GATT. In this case, a classification as General Exception could be possible under Article XX lit. (b) or lit. (d) GATT. Therefore, both regulations must be categorised as necessary in terms of indispensable either to protect human lives or to secure compliance with laws and regulations related to customs enforcement. Concluding, the intensions of EU-AEO and C-TPAT measures are not, as announced, to stop or minimise international terrorism, but to decline the number of competition on EU- and US-markets. This occurs in favour of large entities and for the account of SME located on EU- and US markets and companies established in developing nations. Consequently, the EU-AEO and C-TPAT regulations have to be termed as protectionism.
|School:||Hochschule fuer Angewandte Wissenschaften Hamburg (Germany)|
|Source:||MAI 54/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Management, International law|
|Keywords:||Authorised Economic Operator, Customs compliance, International trade laws, Protectionism, Terrorism, World Trade Organization|
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