Article 10.8: Rejected Goods
What is covered?
This Measure mandates Members to allow the importer of goods, which get rejected by competent authorities because of non-compliance with technical or SPS requirements, to re-consign the merchandise or return the same to the exporter or another person who has been designated by the exporter.
The expression “shall, subject to and consistent with its laws and regulations” indicates that the implementation of this provision is mandatory in principle; however, the actual implementation is conditional upon the consistency with national laws and regulations of the importing Member.
Failing to return the goods within reasonable time
Paragraph 8.2 adds that if the importer fails to return or to re-consign the rejected goods to the exporters within a reasonable period of time, the competent authority has the discretion to decide – may – to undertake a different course of action.
The provision to return the goods within reasonable time will depend on a case-by-case basis. In any case, goods cannot remain at a port or a warehouse for unlimited period of time. Thereafter, the Member will take action to dispose of the goods in accordance with national laws and regulations.
What is not covered?
The Measure does not specify what is a “reasonable period of time”, therefore leaving the expression to the interpretation of Members. The Measure provides no details either on the treatment of rejected goods in case these are not returned or re-consigned within such reasonable period of time.
Furthermore, the text is silent whether the exporting country has an obligation to accept the goods rejected by the competent authorities of the importing country.
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