The Government of the Republic of Turkey hosted the First Meeting of the Supervisory Committee of Preferential Trade Agreement among D-8 Member States in Istanbul, Turkey, on 22 March 2012. The meeting was attended by delegates from Republic of Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Malaysia, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, and the Republic of Turkey as Contracting Parties and the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and the Arab Republic of Egypt as observers.
The Committee noted with satisfaction that Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey, have submitted their respective revised offer lists. The Committee expressed the hope that Iran would submit its revised offer list at an early date.
Participants exchanged views on various aspects of the issue under discussion, and highlighted the following issues:
a.The need for transposition of Harmonized System (HS) Code 2007 to HS Code 2012;
b.The need for the adoption of new HS Codes (2012) – to be facilitated through the services of the Secretariat; and also to be included in the draft agenda of the second meeting of the Committee;
c.It was proposed that each country shall undertake the transposition to HS Code 2012 for its own revised offer list; it was further agreed that the concessions in the revised lists would remain unchanged.
d.It was proposed that, if needed, an extraordinary meeting of the Committee might be convened to address this particular issue;
e.The Committee agreed that the tentative cut-off date for the first installment of tariff reduction shall be 15 August 2012. The contracting parties shall notify the Secretariat before 30 April 2012 their confirmation regarding the cut-off date. The date of implementation will be announced officially and communicated by the Secretariat.
f.The Committee noted the proposal of Pakistan to establish a subcommittee of experts with the following terms of reference:
1.To identify Para-tariffs and non-tariff barriers employed by the contracting parties;
2.To undertake mapping of sanitary and phytosanitary conditions and standards prevalent in the contracting parties,
3.To propose a roadmap for harmonization of standards and sanitary and phytosanitary conditions;
4.To explore the possibility of mutual recognition agreement amongst the contracting parties.
g.The Committee noted Malaysia’s concern that the Agreement may not be effectively implemented without appropriately addressing the issue of D-8 PTA Rules of Origin for some products.
a.Following exchange of views on the establishment of the “Arbitration Panel” (Article 26), Turkey expressed readiness to prepare the initial draft on the composition and procedure of the Panel, within two months, to be distributed, by the Secretariat, among the member countries.
b.Turkey was elected as the chairperson of the Supervisory Committee for the next 2 years.
c.Nigeria and Turkey proposed to host the second meeting of Supervisory Committee – the date of which will be determined and communicated through diplomatic channels.