The free trade agreement between the Gulf Cooperation Council for the Gulf Arab States (GCC) and the EFTA states was signed in Hamar, Norway, on 22 June 2009. The agreement includes a total of 93 articles and 16 annexes and includes a wide range of areas, including trade in goods, trade in services, public procurement, intellectual property rights, administration, dispute resolution and competition. The AELE-CCG Joint Committee established by the agreement will oversee the implementation of the agreement, which also provides for the resolution of disputes through arbitration. In addition, bilateral agricultural products agreements between three EFTA states and the GCC are part of the instruments for establishing the free trade area between the two parties. Both parties agreed to include in the agreement a letter requiring the parties to enter into negotiations on non-service sectors (agriculture and industry) no later than two years after the agreement enters into force. As soon as the agreement enters into force, industrial products, including fish and other seafood, will have duty-free access to the respective markets of efTA states. For products imported into the GCC, most tariffs will be eliminated. Some products are duty-free after a five-year transitional period, while others are excluded or excluded from the scope. The agreement also provides tariff concessions for processed agricultural products. Commodities are covered by bilateral agricultural agreements, which are part of the free trade area instruments between the contracting parties. As far as the rules of origin are concerned, the agreement is based on the European model, which contains certificates of movement of Eur.1 goods.
It also contains provisions relating to anti-dumping measures, state-owned commercial enterprises and subsidies, as well as health and plant health measures and technical provisions. The parties recognize that anti-competitive business practices may restrict trade between them. As a result, each party undertakes to enact or maintain competition laws in order to avoid such practices. The parties also agree to cooperate on the application of competition law. A consultation mechanism will also be put in place.