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"The Council,

a) approves the report of the Economic Committee on its 21st Session;

b) decides to convene at Geneva a diplomatic conference of duly authorised representatives of the Governments Members and nonMembers of the League of Nations, with a view to the framing of an international convention for the abolition of import and export prohibitions and restrictions. The invitations to the States will be accompanied by the documents already prepared by the Economic Committee. November 14th, 1927, is the date provisionally fixed for this conference.”

It has been decided provisionally that the Conference should meet on November 14th, 1927, but the Council may, if circumstances require it, alter this date at its next session.

At the same time, the Council decided to communicate to all the Governments invited to the conference the enclosed document (C.I.A.P.1.) drawn up by the Economic Committee to serve as a basis for the conference's discussions. This document contains a preliminary draft international agreement for the abolition of import and export prohibitions and restrictions, preceded by a brief historical sketch and a summary of the results of the enquiries conducted by the Economic Committee with the Governments and the commercial and industrial organisations of the various countries, and followed by observations on certain articles of the preliminary draft agreement.

In the two annexes will be found the amendments proposed and observations submitted by the organisations concerned and by certain Governments concerning the individual articles of the preliminary draft agreement.

I should be glad if you would be so good as to let me know whether the United States Government is prepared to send representatives to this conference. I have [etc.]

J. AVENOL [Subenclosure-Extract]



ARTICLE 1 Subject to the exceptions provided for in the following articles, each contracting State undertakes within a period of six months to abolish all import and export prohibitions and restrictions and not thereafter impose or maintain any such prohibitions or restrictions.

* Document C.I.A.P.1 is entitled : Commentary and Preliminary Draft International Agreement Drawn Up by the Economic Committee of the League of Nations To serve as a Basis for an International Diplomatic Conference. Only the preliminary draft agreement which it contained is printed infra. For full text of O.I.A.P.1, see Proceedings of the Conference, p. 218.

In the meantime, the contracting States will adopt all practicable measures to reduce existing prohibitions and restrictions to a minimum and to avoid the imposition of any fresh ones.

Further, they undertake to adopt all necessary measures to see that the provisions of the present Agreement are strictly observed by all Governments, central or local authorities, and that no administrative regulation is issued in contravention thereof.


Should the contracting States in pursuance of their general legislation subject the importation or exportation of goods to certain regulations in respect of the manner, form or place of importation or exportation, or the imposition of marks, they undertake that such regulations shall not be made a means of disguised prohibition or arbitrary restriction.


In the case of any prohibitions or restrictions which may be applied within the limits set by the present Agreement, the contracting States shall in the matter of licences comply strictly with the provisions of Article 3 of the International Convention for the simplification of Customs Formalities signed at Geneva on November 3rd, 1923.97


The following classes of prohibitions and restrictions are not prohibited by the provisions of the present Agreement, provided that they are applied equally to all foreign countries where the same conditions prevail and are not applied in such a way as to conceal measures the object of which is purely economic:

1. Prohibitions or restrictions having in view national defence, public safety or order;

2. Prohibitions or restrictions issued on grounds of public health;

3. Prohibitions or restrictions having in view the protection of animals and plants against disease, degeneration or extinction;

4. Prohibitions or restrictions imposed for moral or humanitarian reasons or for the suppression of improper traffic, provided that the manufacture of and trade in the goods to which the prohibitions relate are also prohibited or restricted in the interior of the country;

5. Export prohibitions or restrictions issued for the protection of national treasures of artistic, historical or archaeological value;

6. Prohibitions or restrictions intended, in conformity with the national legislation or international conventions, to protect industrial, literary and artistic property, and to prevent unfair competition in regard to the false marking or appellation of origin, on condition that an analogous protection or supervision is applied to national products;

07 League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. xxx, p. 371.

7. Prohibitions or restrictions imposed for the purpose of extending to imported goods measures of control equivalent or analogous to those applying to home products of the same kind;

8. Prohibitions or restrictions applied to articles which in the interior of the country are subject to State monopoly or to monopolies granted by the State as regards either manufacture or trade;

9. Prohibitions or restrictions established in pursuance of international conventions regulating the traffic in arms, opium or other forms of trade which give rise to dangers or abuses, or relating to methods of unfair competition;

10. Prohibitions applicable to coins, gold, silver, currency notes or securities.

ARTIOLE 5 Nothing in this Agreement shall affect the right of any contracting State to take on importation or exportation all necessary measures to meet extraordinary and abnormal circumstances and to protect the vital economic and financial interests of the State. Nevertheless, in view of the grave inconveniences caused by prohibitions and restrictions, they shall only be imposed in cases of exceptional necessity and shall not be made an arbitrary means of protecting national products or of discriminating against any other contracting State. Their duration shall be restricted to that of the causes or circumstances from which they arise.

ARTICLE 6 Each contracting State agrees not to invoke the provisions of the present Agreement as a ground of objection to measures of prohibition or restriction applied by another contracting State to the products of a third State which imposes on its products prohibitions or restrictions of a kind prohibited by the present Agreement or which subjects its commerce or shipping to measures of exclusion or discrimination or to unfair methods of competition.

ARTICLE 7* Should a dispute arise between two or more contracting States as to the interpretation or application of the provisions of the present Agreement, and should such dispute not be settled either directly between the parties or by the employment of any other means of reaching agreement, the parties to the dispute may, before resorting to any arbitral or judicial procedure, submit the dispute, with a view to an amicable settlement, to such technical body as the Council of the League of Nations may appoint for this purpose. This body will give an advisory opinion after hearing the parties and effecting a meeting between them if necessary.

*This article reproduces the provisions of Article 22 of the Customs Formalities Convention, signed at Geneva on November 3rd, 1923. (Footnote in the original draft agreement.]

The advisory opinion given by the said body will not be binding upon the parties to the dispute unless it is accepted by all of them, and they are free, either after resort to such procedure or in lieu thereof, to have recourse to any arbitral or judicial procedure which they may select, including reference to the Permanent Court of International Justice as regards any matters which are within the competence of that Court under its Statute.

[If a dispute of the nature referred to in the first paragraph of this article should arise with regard to the interpretation or application of Articles (....) of the present Agreement, the parties shall, at the request of any of them, refer the matter to the decision of the Permanent Court of International Justice, whether or not there has previously been recourse to the procedure prescribed in the first paragraph of this article.]*

The adoption of the procedure before the body referred to above or the opinion given by it will in no case involve the suspension of the measures complained of; the same will apply in the event of proceedings being taken before the Permanent Court of International Justice, unless the Court decides otherwise under Article 41 of the Statute.

ARTICLE 8 The present Agreement shall be open for signature for a period of twelve months from the present date by any State which is a Member of the League of Nations or to which the Council shall have communicated a copy for this purpose.

Thereafter any such State may accede to the Agreement by an instrument communicated to the Secretary-General of the League of Nations, who shall at once notify its receipt to the other parties to the Agreement.

ARTICLE 9 The present Agreement shall be ratified and the ratifications deposited at Geneva with the Secretary-General of the League of Nations as soon as possible. It shall come into effect ninety days after the date on which the Secretary-General notifies the parties that it has been ratified or acceded to by (....) States, including those mentioned in Appendix. I

As regards a State ratifying or acceding to the Agreement after it has come into force, the Agreement shall come into force ninety days after the notification of such ratification or accession by the Secretary

*This paragraph is put in brackets to indicate that the Economic Committee wishes to leave open the question of its eventual inclusion or omission. (Footnote in the original draft agreement.]

ÌNumber to be inserted. [Footnote in the original draft agreement.] The list of States to be set out in Appendix will include the principal States of Europe whose participation in the Agreement is of greatest importance, having regard to the magnitude of their trade or their geographical position. [Footnote in the original draft agreement.)

General of the League of Nations. If within two years from the present date sufficient ratifications and accessions have not been notified to bring the Agreement into force, the States which have ratified or acceded to the Agreement will confer with a view to deciding whether the Agreement should be put into effect as among themselves.

ARTICLE 10 Any contracting State may denounce the Agreement by a notification in writing addressed to the Secretary-General of the League of Nations at any time not less than (four) years from the date when the Agreement comes into force. Such denunciation shall take effect one year after its receipt by the Secretary-General and shall only operate in respect of the denouncing State.

If one of the contracting States named in the preceding article or five other contracting States not so named denounce the present Agreement, any contracting State shall be entitled to request the Council of the League of Nations to summon a Conference to consider the situation thus created. If the Council declines this request, any contracting State may denounce the present Agreement by six months' notice. Should the Conference meet under the auspices of the League of Nations, any contracting State which dissents from its decision may similarly denounce the Agreement by six months' notice.

ARTICLE 11 In order to indicate the progress which has been made in regard to the abolition of import and export prohibitions or restrictions, each contracting State shall, within twelve months of the coming into force in its own case of the present Agreement, furnish the SecretaryGeneral of the League of Nations with a statement of the steps which it has taken for the purpose, with a view to the communication of a summary of this information to the various States.


If before the expiration of the period of four years mentioned in Article 10 one-third of the contracting States notify the SecretaryGeneral of the League of Nations of their desire that the present Agreement should be revised, the other contracting States undertake to participate in any consultation that may take place with a view to the revision or maintenance of the Agreement.

NOTE.—The Agreement, if it takes the form of a Convention, will need to be completed by the usual articles which have become “common form", dealing with such matters as the position of colonies and overseas possessions or of countries which form part of the same sovereign State, the relation of the Convention to the rights and duties of States as Members of the League of Nations, etc.

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