Minor Treaty Actions
Minor treaty actions are generally technical amendments to existing treaties which do not impact significantly on the national interest.
Minor treaty actions are presented to the Committee with a one-page explanatory statement and are listed on the Committee’s website. The Committee can choose to formally inquire into these treaty actions, or accept them without a formal inquiry and report.
The Committee has been asked to consider the following four minor treaty actions.
Transposition of Annex 2 (Product Specific Rules) of the Agreement Establishing the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area
The proposed treaty action is to amend the Annex 2 Product Specific Rules (PSRs) of the Agreement Establishing the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA). The amendment is a technical exercise to align the Annex 2 PSRs with the latest nomenclature of the World Customs Organization’s Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS). (The Annex 2 PSRs are 805 pages in length and consist primarily of a table aligning various tariff headings and sub-headings with the relevant PSRs.)
In January 2018, the AANZFTA FTA Joint Committee (FJC) adopted a recommendation of the Committee on Trade in Goods (CTG) and the Sub-Committee on Rules of Origin (SC-ROO) to transpose the Annex 2 PSRs from HS2012 to HS2017 nomenclature. The AANZFTA Parties undertook to implement transposition of the Annex 2 PSRs by 1 January 2019.
2018 Amendment to Annexes I and II of the International Convention against Doping in Sport
The proposed treaty action amends Annexes I and II to the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) International Convention against Doping in Sport  ATS 10, (the Convention). Annex I (Prohibited List - International Standard) identifies the substances and methods which are prohibited in sport. Annex II (Standards for Granting Therapeutic Use Exemptions) outlines the means by which athletes can use medicines on the Prohibited List to treat legitimate medical conditions. Both Annexes I and II are an integral part of the Convention (Article 4 (3)).
The proposed amendments to Annexes I and II update the annexes to reflect the 2019 Prohibited List and the International Standard for Therapeutic Use Exemptions (ISTUE) (respectively) adopted by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on 20 September 2018, which takes effect on 1 January 2019.
2018 Amendments to the Annex to the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments
The proposed treaty action concerns amendments to the Regulations contained in the Annex to the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments (the Convention).
The proposed amendments will bring into effect more stringent obligations for the treatment of ballast water in ships. These more stringent obligations take the form of a Code for Approval of Ballast Water Management Systems (BWMS Code). Ballast water is used by ships to provide stability when they have little or no cargo. Ballast water can contain pollutants and invasive marine species.
The Amendments were recommended by the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
2018 Amendments to Annex VI of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, as modified by the Protocol of 1978 relating thereto Resolution MEPC.301(72)
The proposed treaty concerns the acceptance of technical amendments to Annex VI of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, as modified by the Protocol of 1978 Relating Thereto (MARPOL), relating to controls for Nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from diesel engines on ships in Emission Control Areas (ECA) and the required Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) for roll on – roll off cargo and passenger ships.
The proposed treaty action includes two specific amendments:
Regulation 13 of MARPOL Annex VI, which sets controls for NOx emissions from diesel engines on ships. The amendment replaces the words “an emission control area designated under paragraph 6 of this regulation” with the words “a NOx Tier III emission control area”; and
Regulation 21 of MARPOL Annex VI, which outlines required EEDI thresholds for consideration in the design of roll on – roll off cargo and passenger ships.
The Committee determined not to hold a formal inquiry into any of the minor treaty actions, and agreed that binding treaty action may be taken in each case.
Mr Russell Broadbent MP
20 March 2019