Message to the Senate Transmitting the International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures

February 22, 1982

To the Senate of the United States:

With a view to receiving the advice and consent of the Senate to accession, I transmit herewith the International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures (``Convention''), which entered into force on September 25, 1974. I am also transmitting, for the information of the Senate, the report of the Department of State on the Convention.

The Convention seeks to foster international trade through the simplification and harmonization of customs procedures and operations. United States accession will reflect and be consistent with our policy to reduce significantly tariff and nontariff barriers to international trade.

In 1970 the United States became a member of the Customs Cooperation Council established pursuant to the Convention Establishing a Customs Cooperation Council, concluded in 1950. As a Council member, the United States participated in the development of the Convention by the Council. The Council adopted the Convention and its first three annexes in 1973. Since then, twenty-seven additional annexes have been adopted. Under the terms of the Convention, a State may accept a limited number of annexes, and may enter reservations with respect to most provisions of any annex. In accordance with these terms, I propose that the United States accept twenty of the annexes (A.1, A.2, A.3, B.1, B.3, C.1, D.2, E.1, E.2, E.3, E.4, E.8, F.1, F.3, F.4, F.5, F.6, G.1, G.2 and H.1), and enter the reservations set forth in an attachment to the Convention with respect to some of their provisions. The provisions for which reservation is recommended conflict with current United States legislation and regulations. With these proposed reservations, no new implementing legislation will be necessary in order to comply with the Convention.

I recommend that the Senate give early and favorable consideration to this Convention and give its advice and consent to United States accession to the Convention and twenty of its annexes, subject to the proposed reservations.

Accession to the Convention by the United States would contribute to important U.S. interests. First, all of the United States' major trading partners have accepted the Convention and one or more of its annexes. Acceptance by the United States would significantly further our commitment to eliminate restrictive trade practices and result in beneficial modernization of United States customs procedures.

Second, the Convention serves as a guide for countries seeking to develop and modernize their regulations and procedures. It is therefore important for the United States trade interests that it set forth impartial and simplified methods for conducting customs business. This achievement can best be pursued by the United States as a party to the Convention.

Ronald Reagan

The White House,

February 22, 1982.