THE COUNCIL

HAVING REGARD to Article 13 (a) of the Convention for European Economic Co-operation of 16th April 1948;

HAVING REGARD to the Decision of the Council of 27th April 1954, concerning Measures for the Relaxation of Customs Regulations in favour of Tourists;

CONSIDERING that the above Decision will cease to be in force as from 1st February 1955;

DECIDES:

I

Article 1

For the purpose of this Decision:

(a)        The term import duties and import taxes shall mean not only Customs duties, but also all duties and taxes whatever, chargeable by reason of importation;

(b)        The term "tourist" shall mean any person, without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion, who enters the territory of a Member country other than that in which that person normally resides and remains there for not less than twenty-four hours and not more six months in the course of any twelve-month period, for legitimate non-immigrant purposes, such as touring, recreation, sports, health, family reasons, study, religious pilgrimages or business;

(c)        The term temporary importation permit shall mean the Customs documents testifying to the guarantee or deposit of import duties and import taxes chargeable in the event of failure to re-export the article temporarily imported.

Article 2

Subject to the other conditions laid down in this Decision, each of the Member countries shall admit temporarily free of import duties and import taxes the personal effects imported by a tourist, provided they are for the personal use of the tourist, that they are carried on the person of or in the luggage accompanying the tourist, that there is no reason to fear abuse and that these personal effects will be re-exported by the tourist on leaving the country.

The term “personal effects” shall mean all clothing and other articles news or used which a tourist may personnally and reasonably require, taking into consideration all the circumstances of his visit, but excluding all merchandise imported for commercial purposes.

Personal effects shall include among other articles the following, provided that they can be considered as being in use:

Personal jewellery;

One camera with twelve plates or five rolls of film;

One miniature cinematograph camera with two reels of film;

One pair of binoculars;

One portable musical instrument;

One portable gramophone with ten records; One portable sound-recording apparatus; One portable wireless receiving set;

One portable typewriter;

One perambulator;

One tent and other camping equipment; Sports equipment (one fishing outfit, one sporting firearm with fifty cartridges,: one non-powered bicycle, one canoe or kayak less than 5.5 metres long, one pair of skis, two tennis racquets and other similar articles).

Article 3

Subject to the other conditions laid down in this Decision, each of the Member countries shall admit free of import duties and import taxes the following articles imported by a tourist for his personal use, provided that these articles are carried on the person of or in the hand luggage accompanying the tourist, and provided that there is no reason to fear abuse:

(a)        200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250 grammes of tobacco, or an assortment of these products, provided that the total weight does not exceed 250 grammes;

(b)        One regular-size bottle of wine and one- quarter litre of spirits;

(c)        One-quarter litre of toilet water and a small quantity of perfume.

Article 4

Subject to the other conditions laid down in this Decision, each of the Member countries shall grant to the tourist, provided there is no reason to fear abuse:

(a)        Authorisation to import in transit and without a temporary importation permit, travel souvenirs for a total value not exceeding 50 United States dollars, provided that such souvenirs are carried on the person of or in the luggage accompanying the tourist and that they are not intended for commercial purposes;

(b)         Authorisation to export, without the formalities applying to currency controls and free of export duties, travel souvenirs which the tourist has bought in the country for a total value not exceeding 100 United States dollars, provided that they are carried on the person of or in the luggage accompanying the tourist and that such souvenirs are not intend for commercial purposes.

Article 5

Each of the Member countries may require a temporary importation permit in respect of articles of a high value covered by Article 2.

Article 6

Member countries shall endeavour not to introduce Customs procedures which might have the effect of impeding the development of international touring.

Article 7

In order to expedite Customs procedures contiguous Member countries shall endeavour to place their respective Customs posts close together and to keep them open during the same hours.

Article 8

The provisions of this Decision shall not prejudice in any way the application of police or other regulations concerning the importation, possession and carrying of arms and ammunition.

Article 9

Each of the Member countries recognises that any prohibitions which that country imposes on the importation or exportation of articles which benefit under this Decision shall apply only insofar as they are based on consideration other than economic in character, for example, of public morality, public security, public health, hygiene, veterinary or phyto-pathological considerations.

Article 10

The exemptions and facilities provided by this Decision shall not apply to frontier traffic.

Not shall the applications of these exemptions and facilities be considered as automatic:

(a)        When the total quantity of a commodity to be imported by a tourist exceeds substantially the limit laid down in this Decision;

(b)        In case of a tourist who enters the country of import more than once a month;

(c)        In case of a tourist under 17 years of age.

Article 11

In the event of fraud, contravention or abuse, the Member countries shall be free to take proceedings for the recovery of the corresponding import duties and import taxes and also for the imposition of any penalties to which the persons who have been granted exemptions or other facilities may have rendered themselves liable.

Article 12

Any breach of the provisions of this Decision, any substitution, false declaration or act having the effect of causing a person or an article improperly to benefit from the system of importation laid down in this Decision, may render the offender liable in the country where the offence was committed to the penalties prescribed by the laws of that country.

Article 13

Nothing in this Decision shall prevent Member countries which form a Customs or economic union from enacting special provisions applicable to residents of the countries forming that union.

II

The provisions of Articles 3 and 4 shall apply without prejudice to the granting, instead of the customs facilities provided in those provisions, of the facilities provided in the Decision of the Council of 28th January 1955, concerning certain categories of tourists.

III

1.            This Decision shall come into force as from 1st February 1955, except as provided in paragraph 2 below, and shall remain in force for three years. Nevertheless, it shall cease to apply, if, before the end of that period, the Convention concerning Customs Facilities for Touring signed in New York on 4th June 1954 is in force for all the Member countries, the field of application of this Convention being considered more favourable to the development of world tourism.

2.            The Norwegian Government will inform the Organisation of the date when it will be able to apply this Decision. Until that date the Norwegian Government will continue to. apply the provisions of Section I, paragraph 1 and 3 (B) and of Section II of the Council Decision of 27th April 1954, referred to above, notwithstanding the provisions of Section III of that Decision.

In adopting this Decision, the Council NOTED that its provisions would not apply between the Scandinavian countries.

The Council also

1.            AGREED that the Executive Committee should report to it by June 1955 on the measures taken by Member countries to implement this Decision, as well as the Decision concerning Customs Facilities in favour of Certain Categories of Tourists and the Decision concerning the Importation of Tourist Publicity Documents and Material, adopted on the same day.

2.            INVITED Member countries to ratify as soon as possible the United Nations Convention and Additional Protocol dealing with the same questions, or to accede to them.