Select Committee on European Communities Fourteenth Report

APPENDIX 5 (continued)





Article 48

  1. The provisions of this Chapter are intended to supplement the European Convention of 20 April 1959 on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters as well as, in relations between the Contracting Parties which are members of the Benelux Economic Union, Chapter 2 of the Benelux Treaty on Extradition and Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters of 27 June 1962, as amended by the Protocol of 11 May 1974, and to facilitate the implementation of these agreements.

  2. Paragraph 1 shall not affect the application of the broader provisions of the bilateral agreements in force between the Contracting Parties.

Article 49

  Mutual assistance shall also be granted:

    (a)   in proceedings brought by the administrative authorities for offences which are punishable in one of the two Contracting Parties or in both Contracting Parties by virtue of being an infringement of the law and where the decision may give rise to proceedings before a criminal court;

    (b)   in damage proceedings for wrongful prosecution or conviction;

    (c)   in clemency proceedings;

    (d)   in civil proceedings that are combined with criminal proceedings, as long as the criminal court has not yet given a final ruling on the criminal proceedings;

    (e)   to communicate legal statements relating to the enforcement of a sentence or measure, the imposition of a fine or the payment of costs for proceedings;

    (f)   in respect of measures relating to the deferral of delivery or suspension of enforcement of a sentence or a detention order, conditional release or a stay of execution or interruption of enforcement of a sentence or a detention order.

Article 50

  1. The Contracting Parties undertake to grant each other, in accordance with the Convention and the Treaty referred to in Article 48, mutual assistance as regards infringements of their laws on excise duties, value added tax and customs duties. Customs provision shall mean the rules laid down in Article 2 of the Convention of 7 September 1967 between Belgium, the Federal Republic of Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands on mutual assistance between customs administrations, as well as Article 2 of Council Regulation (EEC) No. 1468/81 of 19 May 1981.

  2. Requests regarding evasion of excise duties may not be rejected on the grounds that the requested country does not levy excise duties on the goods referred to in the request.

  3. The requesting Contracting Party shall not forward or use information or evidence obtained from the requested Contracting Party for enquiries, proceedings or procedures other than those referred to in its request, without the prior consent of the requested Contracting Party.

  4. The mutual assistance provided for in this Article may be refused where the alleged amount of duty underpaid or evaded does not exceed ECU 25,000 or where the presumed value of the goods exported or imported without authorisation does not exceed ECU 100,000, unless, given the circumstances of the identity of the accused, the case is deemed to be extremely serious by the requesting Contracting Party.

  5. The provisions of this Article shall also apply when the mutual assistance requested concerns infringements punishable only by a fine as infringements of the law in proceedings brought by the administrative authorities, where the request for assistance was made by a judicial authority.

  4. To ensure compliance with this Article, the Contracting Parties shall specifically carry out surveillance on places known to be used for drug trafficking.

  5. The Contracting Parties shall do their utmost to prevent and combat the negative effects arising from the illicit demand for narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances of whatever kind, including cannabis. Each Contracting Party shall be responsible for the measures adopted to this end.

Article 72

  The Contracting Parties shall, in accordance with their constitutions and their national legal systems, ensure that legislation is enacted to enable the seizure and confiscation of assets deriving from the illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.

Article 73

  1. The Contracting Parties undertake, in accordance with their constitutions and their national legal systems, to adopt measures to allow controlled deliveries to be made as part of the illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.

  2. In each individual case, a decision to allow controlled deliveries will be taken on the basis of prior authorisation from each of the Contracting Parties concerned.

  3. Each Contracting Party shall retain responsibility for and control over any operation within its own territory and shall be entitled to intervene.

Article 74

  As regards legal trade in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, the Contracting Parties agree to transfer, wherever possible, checks conducted at the border and arising from obligations under the United Nations Conventions listed in Article 71 to within the country.

Article 75

  As regards the movement of travellers to the territory of the Contracting Parties or their movements within these territories, individuals may carry narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances that are intended for medical treatment, provided that they produce at any check a certificate issued or authenticated by a competent authority of their State of residence.

Letter from Dawn Primarolo MP, Financial Secretary to the Treasury to Lord Tordoff, Chairman of the European Communities Select Committee

  I wrote to you on 11 December enclosing a memorandum prepared by HM Customs and Excise officials in response to your questions about Naples II. One issue on which the sub-committee had some concerns was the data protection provisions in the draft Convention, in particular the amendment made to Article 25.2(e) of the draft Convention, and the suggestion that individuals' access rights under Naples II would not be fully provided for in UK legislation.

  I am writing now to inform the sub-committee of an important development in the area of data protection. The Government's White Paper on the proposed Freedom of Information Act - "Your Right to Know" - was published on 11 December. I can now confirm that on the basis of the White Paper when this Act comes into force, the rights of individuals in relation to personal manual data of the type described in Naples II will be fully covered in UK legislation. The Freedom of Information Act will go further than the Data Protection Bill in that it will apply to all manual data records, rather than just those manual data records stored in structured files, as well as automated data records (there are certain limited exclusions from the Act for "public interest" reasons). Although my officials made a brief reference to the Freedom of Information Act in their memorandum, it would not, of course, have been appropriate to make its content public before the government's intentions in this area had been announced.

15 December 1997

previous page contents next page

House of Lords home page Parliament home page House of Commons home page search page enquiries

© Parliamentary copyright 1998