Agreement on the Importation of Educational, Scientific and Cultural Materials

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Agreement on the Importation of Educational, Scientific and Cultural Materials  (1950) 
by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization


Preamble

The contracting States,

Article I

1. The contracting States undertake not to apply customs duties or other charges on, or in connection with, the importation of:

  1. Books, publications and documents, listed in Annex A to this Agreement;
  2. Educational, scientific and cultural materials, listed in Annexes B, C, D and E to this Agreement;

which are the products of another contracting States, subject to the conditions laid down in those annexes.

2. The provisions of paragraph 1 of this article shall not prevent any contracting State from levying on imported materials;

  1. Internal taxes or any other international charges of any kind, imposed at the time of importation or subsequently, not exceeding those applied directly or indirectly to like domestic products;
  2. Fees and charges, other than customs duties, imposed by governmental authorities on, or in connection with, importation, limited in amount to the approximate cost of the services rendered, and representing neither an indirect protection to domestic products nor a taxation of imports for revenue purposes.
Article II

1. The contracting States undertake to grant the necessary licences and/or foreign exchange for the importation of the following articles:

  1. Books and publications consigned to public libraries and collections and to the libraries and collections of public, educational, research or cultural institutions;
  2. Official government publications, that is, official, parliamentary and administrative documents published in their country of origin;
  3. Books and publications of the United Nations or any of its Specialized Agencies;
  4. Books and publications received by the United Nations, Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and distributed free of charge by it or under its supervision;
  5. Publications intended to promote tourist travel outside the country of importation, sent and distributed free of charge;
  6. Articles for the blind:
    1. Books, publications and documents of all kinds in raised characters for the blind;
    2. Other articles specially designed for the educational, scientific or cultural advancement of the blind, which are imported directly by institutions or organizations concerned with the welfare of the blind, approved by the competent authorities of the importing country for the purpose of duty-free entry of these types of articles.

2. The contracting States which at any time apply quantitative restrictions and exchange control measures undertake to grant, as far as possible, foreign exchange and licences necessary for the importation of other educational, scientific or cultural materials, and particularly the materials referred to in the annexes to this Agreement.

Article III

1. The contracting States undertake to give every possible facility to the importation of educational, scientific or cultural materials, which are imported exclusively for showing at a public exhibition approved by the competent authorities of the importing country and for subsequent re-exportation. These facilities shall include the granting of the necessary licences and exemption from customs duties and internal taxes and charges of all kinds payable on importation, other than fees and charges corresponding to the approximate cost of services rendered.

2. Nothing in this article shall prevent the authorities of an importing country from taking such steps as may be necessary to ensure that the materials in question shall be re-exported at the close of their exhibition.

Article IV

The contracting States undertake that they will as far as possible:

  1. Continue their common efforts to promote by every means the free circulation of educational, scientific or cultural materials, and abolish or reduce any restrictions to that free circulation which are not referred to in this Agreement;
  2. Simplify the administrative procedure governing the importation of educational, scientific or cultural materials;
  3. Facilitate the expeditious and safe customs clearance of educational, scientific or cultural materials.
Article V

Nothing in this Agreement shall affect the right of contracting States to take measures, in conformity with their legislation, to prohibit or limit the importation, or the circulation after importation, of articles on grounds relating directly to national security, public order or public morals.

Article VI

This Agreement shall not modify or affect the laws and regulations of any contracting State or any of its international treaties, conventions, agreements or proclamations, with respect to copyright, trade marks or patents.

Article VII

Subject to the provisions of any previous conventions to which the contracting States may have subscribed for the settlement of disputes, the contracting States undertake to have recourse to negotiation or conciliation, with a view to settlement of any disputes regarding the interpretation or the application of this Agreement.

Article VIII

In case of a dispute between contracting States relating to the educational, scientific or cultural character of imported materials, the interested Parties may, by common agreement, refer it to the Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization for an advisory opinion.

Article IX

1. This Agreement, of which the English and French texts are equally authentic, shall bear today's date and remain open for signature by all Member States of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, all Member States of the United Nations and any non-member State to which and invitation may have been addressed by the Executive Board of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

2. The Agreement shall be ratified on behalf of the signatory States in accordance with their respective constitutional procedure.

3. The instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Article X

The States referred to in paragraph 1 of Article IX may accept this Agreement from 22 November 1950. Acceptance shall become effective on the deposit of a formal instrument with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Article XI

This Agreement shall come into force on the date on which the Secretary-General of the United Nations receives instruments of ratification or acceptance from 10 States.

Article XII

1. The States Parties to this Agreement on the date of its coming into force shall each take all the necessary measures for its fully effective operation within a period of six months after that date.

2. For States which may deposit their instruments of ratification or acceptance after the date of the Agreement coming into force, these measures shall be taken within a period of three months from the date of deposit.

3. Within one month of the expiration of the periods mentioned in paragraphs 1 and 2 of this article, the contracting States to this Agreement shall submit a report to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization of the measures which they have taken for such fully effective operation.

4. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization shall transmit this report to all signatory States to this Agreement and to the International Trade Organization (provisionally, to its Interim Commission).

Article XIII

Any contracting State may, at the time of signature or the deposit of its instrument of ratification or acceptance, or at any time thereafter, declare by notification addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations that this Agreement shall extend to all or any of the territories for the conduct of whose foreign relations that contracting State is responsible.

Article XIV

1. Two years after the date of the coming into force of this Agreement, any contracting State may, on its own behalf or on behalf of any of the territories for the conduct of whose foreign relations that contracting State is responsible, denounce this Agreement by an instrument in writing deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

2. The denunciation shall take effect one year after the receipt of the instrument of denunciation.

Article XV

The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall inform the States referred to in paragraph 1 of Article IX, as well as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, and the International Trade Organization (provisionally, its Interim Commission), of the deposit of all the instruments of ratification and acceptance provided for in Articles IX and X, as well as of the notifications and denunciations provided for respectively in Articles XIII and XIV.

Article XVI

At the request of one-third of the contracting States to this Agreement, the Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization shall place on the agenda of the next session of the General Conference of that Organization, the question of convoking a meeting for the revision of this Agreement.

Article XVII

Annexes A, B, C, D and E, as well as the Protocol annexed to this Agreement are hereby made an integral part of this Agreement.

Article XVIII

1. In accordance with Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations, this Agreement shall be registered by the Secretary-General of the United Nations on the date of its coming into force.

2. In faith whereof the undersigned, duly authorized, have signed this Agreement on behalf of their respective governments.

Done at Lake Success, New York, this twenty-second day of November one thousand nine hundred and fifty in a single copy, which shall remain deposited in the archives of the United Nations, and certified true copies of which shall be delivered to all the States referred to in paragraph 1 of Article IX, as well as to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and to the International Trade Organization (provisionally, to its Interim Commission).

Annexes

Annex A

Books, publications and documents

  1. Printed books.
  2. Newspapers and periodicals.
  3. Books and documents produced by duplicating processes other than printing.
  4. Official government publications, that is, official, parliamentary and administrative documents published in their country of origin.
  5. Travel posters and travel literature (pamphlets, guides, timetables, leaflets and similar publications), whether illustrated or not, including those published by private commercial enterprises, whose purpose is to stimulate travel outside the country of importation.
  6. Publications whose purpose is to stimulate study outside the country of importation.
  7. Manuscripts, including typescripts.
  8. Catalogues of books and publications, being books and publications offered for sale by publishers or booksellers established outside the country of importation.
  9. Catalogues of films, recordings or other visual and auditory material of an educational, scientific of cultural character, being catalogues issued by or on behalf of the United Nations or any of its Specialized Agencies.
  10. Music in manuscript or printed form, or reproduced by duplicating processes other than printing.
  11. Geographical, hydrographical or astronomical maps and charts.
  12. Architectural, industrial or engineering plans and designs, and reproductions thereof, intended for study in scientific establishments or educational institutions approved by the competent authorities of the importing country for the purpose of duty-free admission of these types of articles.

The exemptions provided by Annex A shall not apply to:

  1. Stationery;
  2. Books, publications and documents (except catalogues, travel posters and travel literature, referred to above) published by or for a private commercial enterprise, essentially for advertising purposes;
  3. Newspapers and periodicals in which the advertising matter is in excess of 70 per cent by space;
  4. All other items (except catalogues referred to above) in which the advertising matter is in excess of 25 per cent by space. In the case of travel posters and literature, this percentage shall apply only to private commercial advertising matter.
Annex B

Works of art and collectors' pieces of an educational, scientific or cultural character

  1. Paintings and drawings, including copies, executed entirely by hand, but excluding manufactured decorated wares.
  2. Hand-printed impressions, produced from hand-engraved or hand-etched blocks, plates or other material, and signed and numbered by the artist.
  3. Original works of art of statuary or sculpture, whether in the round, in relief, or in intaglio, excluding mass-produced reproductions and works of conventional craftsmanship of a commercial character.
  4. Collectors' pieces and objects of art consigned to public galleries, museums and other public institutions, approved by the competent authorities of the importing country for the purpose of duty-free entry of these types of articles, not intended for resale.
  5. Collections and collectors' pieces in such scientific fields as anatomy, zoology, botany, mineralogy, palaeontology, archaeology and ethnography, not intended for resale.
  6. Antiques, being articles in excess of 100 years of age.
Annex C

Visual and auditory materials of an educational, scientific or cultural character

  1. Films, film strips, microfilms and slides, of an educational, scientific or cultural character, when imported by organizations (including, at the discretion of the importing country, broadcasting organizations), approved by the competent authorities of the importing country for the purpose of duty-free admission of these types of articles, exclusively for exhibition by these organizations or by other public or private educational, scientific or cultural institutions or societies approved by the aforesaid authorities.
  2. Newsreels (with or without sound track), depicting events of current news value at the time of importation, and imported in either negative form, exposed and developed, or positive form, printed and developed, when imported by organizations (including, at the discretion of the importing country, broadcasting organizations) approved by the competent authorities of the importing country for the purpose of duty-free admission of such films, provided that free entry may be limited to two copies of each subject for copying purposes.
  3. Sound recordings of an educational, scientific or cultural character for use exclusively in public or private educational, scientific or cultural institutions or societies (including, at the discretion of the importing country, broadcasting organizations) approved by the competent authorities of the importing country for the purpose of duty-free admission of these types of articles.
  4. Films, film strips, microfilms and sound recordings of an educational, scientific or cultural character produced by the United Nations or any of its Specialized Agencies.
  5. Patterns, models and wall charts for use exclusively for demonstrating and teaching purposes in public or private educational, scientific or cultural institutions approved by the competent authorities of the importing country for the purpose of duty-free admission of these types of articles.
Annex D

Scientific instruments or apparatus

Scientific instruments or apparatus, intended exclusively for educational purposes or pure scientific research, provided:

  1. That such scientific instruments or apparatus are consigned to public or private scientific or educational institutions approved by the competent authorities of the importing country for the purpose of duty-free entry of these types of articles, and used under the control and responsibility of these institutions;
  2. That instruments or apparatus of equivalent scientific value are not being manufactured in the country of importation.
Annex E

Articles for the blind

  1. Books, publications and documents of all kinds in raised characters for the blind.
  2. Other articles specially designed for the educational, scientific or cultural advancement of the blind, which are imported directly by institutions or organizations concerned with the welfare of the blind, approved by the competent authorities of the importing country for the purpose of duty-free entry of these types of articles.
Protocol annexed to the Agreement on the Importation of Educational, Scientific and Cultural Materials

The contracting States,

In the interest of facilitating the participation of the United States of America in the Agreement on the Importation of Educational, Scientific and Cultural Materials, have agreed to the following:

1. The United States of America shall have the option of ratifying this Agreement, under Article IX, or of accepting it, under Article X, with the inclusion of the reservation hereunder.

2. In the event of the United States of America becoming Party to this Agreement with the reservation provided for in the preceding paragraph 1, the provisions of that reservation may be invoked by the Government of the United States of America with regard to any of the contracting States to this Agreement, or by any contracting State with regard to the United States of America, provided that any measure imposed pursuant to such reservation shall be applied on a non-discriminatory basis.

(Text of the Reservation)

  1. If, as a result of the obligations incurred by a contracting State under this Agreement, any product covered by this Agreement is being imported into the territory of a contracting State in such relatively increased quantities and under such conditions as to cause or threaten serious injury to the domestic industry in that territory producing like or directly competitive products, the contracting State, under the conditions provided for by paragraph 2 above, shall be free, in respect of such product and to the extent and for such time as may be necessary to prevent or remedy such injury to suspend, in whole or in part, any obligation under this Agreement with respect to such product.
  2. Before any contracting State shall take action pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (a) above, it shall give notice in writing to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization as far in advance as may be practicable and shall afford the Organization and the contracting States which are Parties to this Agreement an opportunity to consult with it in respect of the proposed action.
  3. In critical circumstances where delay would cause damage which it would be difficult to repair, action under paragraph (a) above may be taken provisionally without prior consultation, on the condition that consultation be effected immediately after taking such action.
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