EFTA and Morocco meet for Joint Committee and Rules of Origin Seminar

Published 06-10-2010
Delegations from the Member States of the European Free Trade Association (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) and Morocco held their fifth Joint Committee meeting under the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) on 5 October 2010 in Rabat. In a dedicated seminar, experts discussed the Pan-Euro-Med rules of origin.

The EFTA-Morocco FTA entered into force in 1999. At its fifth meeting, the Joint Committee adopted two decisions in the area of rules of origin. The parties discussed the outcome of recent negotiations between Morocco and the European Union relating to agriculture and the possibility to extend the scope of the FTA to trade services. They furthermore exchanged views notably on their recent free trade initiatives and on cooperation in the fields of intellectual property and public procurement. The EFTA delegation in the Joint Committee was led by Ambassador Norbert Frick, Permanent Representative of Liechtenstein in Geneva, while Mr Khalid Sayah, Director of International Trade Relations in the Ministry of External Trade, headed the Moroccan side.

The Joint Committee was followed by a one-day seminar on rules of origin, organised jointly by EFTA and the Moroccon Ministry of External Trade. Customs experts from EFTA provided in-depth information and moderated a workshop with practical cases, particularly on the application of the Pan-Euro-Med rules of origin. The seminar was attended by approximately 60 representatives from Morocco's public and private sectors.

Bilateral EFTA-Morocco merchandise trade reached USD 468 million in 2009. The EFTA States exported goods worth USD 331 million, primarily pharmaceutical products, clocks and watches, machinery, mineral fuels and oil, as well as iron and steel. Main imports from Morocco into EFTA consisted of vegetables, precious stones and metals, fats and oils, phosphates, as well as knitted and woven apparel.