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1.1 All users are considered to have acquainted themselves with these legal notices before consulting the website of the World Customs Organization (“WCO”) designed for the marketing of WCO Publications and certain Solutions (“Sales Site”) through an exclusive service provider, the company governed by Belgian law GMD Publishing SPRL, with head office at avenue du Bourget 40, 1130 Bruxelles (Belgium).
1.2 Access to and/or use of the Sales Site implies automatic and unrestricted acceptance of these legal notices.
The WCO reserves the right to modify, temporarily or permanently interrupt and/or delete, at any time, all or part of the Sales Site, without informing the user in advance. Such action shall not result in any liability being incurred by the WCO.
The Sales Site is the exclusive property and published under the responsibility of the WCO, an international organization with headquarters at rue du Marché 30, 1210 Brussels (Belgium).
4.1 All texts, commentaries, titles, photographs, sounds, images, data, drawings, animated sequences, whether or not accompanied by sound, videos, and illustrations reproduced on the Sales Site, including the WCO logo, as well as its design and form, any databases and certain software used on the Sales Site are the property of the WCO and/or used under licence and are protected by the intellectual property right legislation in force.
4.2 The reproduction, copying, sale or exploitation, for whatever purpose, as well as the modification, dissemination or use, of the items mentioned in Article 4.1, for commercial or non-commercial purposes, may constitute an infringement, unless previously authorized in writing by the WCO. The user therefore undertakes not to engage in such acts.
5.1 Unless previously authorized in writing by the WCO, the sale or use, for a commercial or non-commercial purpose, of the information contained in the Sales Site is prohibited. The WCO may, at any time, without notice or compensation, terminate the user’s right of use and deny him access to the Sales Site.
5.2 The user undertakes to use the information contained in the Sales Site in accordance with these legal notices and any applicable law. He undertakes, in particular, not to commit any unlawful act on the Sales Site that infringes the rights and interests of third parties and/or that could damage, overload, disable, discredit or block the Sales Site. 
5.3 Likewise, the user undertakes not to commit any act, make any statement or perform any action on the Sales Site that could tarnish the reputation and image of the WCO, its Members and/or its officials and staff.
5.4 In no circumstances may the WCO be held liable for the use made of the Sales Site by a user.
5.5 The user therefore agrees to compensate the WCO for, protect it from and, if necessary, defend it against any third party action and/or costs (including, but not limited to, lawyers’ costs and fees), subsequent upon the incorrect or illegal use of the Sales Site, infringement of the legal notices or participation in an infringement committed by a third party.
6.1 The WCO shall provide the Sales Site “as is”. 
6.2 The WCO gives no guarantee, implicit or explicit, concerning access to or the continuity, availability and/or operation of the Sales Site and related services.
6.3 The WCO will do its best to ensure that the information it disseminates on the Sales Site is accurate. In no circumstances, can the WCO guarantee the accuracy and/or exhaustiveness of the said information. The WCO therefore gives no guarantee, implicit or explicit, concerning the contents of the Sales Site.
6.4 The WCO shall not be held responsible for any damage, direct or indirect, commercial or non-commercial, resulting from the use of the Sales Site. 
6.5 The WCO accepts no liability for any viruses that might be imported during the downloading of any of the components of the Sales Site or of any sites to which the WCO refers the user through hypertext links or emails sent by the WCO.
7.1 When a user visits the Sales Site, the WCO collects and retains, in particular, the following data which might be regarded as personal:
  • the email address of the user;
  • all information concerning the pages that the user has consulted while visiting the Sales Site;
  • all the personal information that the user communicates voluntarily on the Sales Site.
This data shall be collected and retained purely with a view to providing an optimum service to the user.

7.2 If the user wishes to exercise his right of access, objection and/or rectification, he may contact the WCO by email at:

7.3 The information supplied to the WCO shall not be transferred to third parties.

8.1 Links to the Sales Site and to other sites must receive the prior written authorization of the WCO.
8.2 The Sales Site may provide the user, as well as third parties, with links to other sites or other Internet sources. The WCO does not exercise any control over these sites and cannot be held liable nor take any responsibility for the contents, advertising, products, services or any other material or information available from these third-party sites. Moreover, the existence of the links in question does not imply that the WCO agrees with the contents of the sites or imply any collaboration between the WCO and the site operators. 
8.3 The WCO cannot be held liable for any proven or alleged damage or loss resulting from or related with the use, or reliance on the contents, of third party sites or the goods and services available on those third party sites. 
8.4 The user is liable for and assumes all the risks appertaining to the use he makes of the site to which he is taken by a hyperlink on the Sales Site, in particular, when he relies upon the timeliness, utility or completeness of its contents.
As far as possible, the clauses of these legal notices shall be construed in such a way as to make them valid and enforceable. However, if one or more clauses of these legal notices is declared to be invalid, illegal or unenforceable, in whole or in part, the rest of the clause and these legal notices shall continue to apply in full, as if the invalid, illegal or unenforceable clause had never formed part of them.
10.1 The WCO reserves the right to amend the legal notices at any time. The consultation or use of the Sales Site by the user implies his acceptance of any amendments to the legal notices. The WCO suggests that users refer to the Legal Notices at very regular intervals.
10.2Any amendment or additional content incorporated in the Sales Site shall be subject to these legal notices. 
Article 11 ENTIRETY
These legal notices and the annex thereto constitute the totality of the agreements between the WCO and the user concerning the use of the Sales Site.
Nothing in these legal notices, including any references to national legislation, may be construed as any waiver by the WCO of its privileges and immunities or of those of its officials.
Given that the WCO is an international organization, it is expressly agreed that the rights and obligations of the Parties shall be governed by these legal notices and, in the alternative, by the provisions of Belgian law.
Any dispute between the Parties regarding the interpretation and/or fulfilment of these legal notices shall, if it cannot be settled amicably within a period of thirty (30) calendar days following the dispute notification, be settled in accordance with the procedure laid down in Part I of Customs Co-operation Council Decision XXXIII, a copy of which is attached at Annex 1 hereto.
Any user with questions or comments concerning these legal notices should contact the WCO at the following address:

Annex 1: Part I of Customs Co-operation Council Decision CCCXXXIII
117th/118th sessions - June 2011
HAVING REGARD to Article IX, Section 24, of the Annex to the Convention establishing a Customs Co-operation Council,

(i) to rescind Council Decision No. XXXIII of November 1954; and

(ii) to adopt the following modes of settlement of disputes arising out of contracts or other disputes of a private character to which the Council is a party and of disputes involving any official of the Council who, by reason of his/her official position enjoys immunity, if immunity has not been waived in accordance with the provisions of Sections 19 and 21 of the Annex to the Convention establishing a Customs Co-operation Council.
I. Mode of settlement of disputes between
the Customs Co-operation Council and third persons
(other than its officials), arising out of contracts
All contracts or agreements, in any form, entered into by the Customs Co-operation Council (the “Council”) shall contain an arbitration clause by which the Council and the other Party (or Parties) to the contract undertake to refer to a tribunal of arbitrators, which shall reach its decision by application of law and without appeal, any disputes involving the Council regarding the interpretation or fulfilment of the contract they have entered into.
Unless otherwise specified, in any contract or agreement entered into by on the one hand, the Council, and on the other hand, one or more States and/or one or more international organizations, the said arbitration clause shall be worded as follows:
(1) Settlement of disputes by arbitration
Any claim or dispute regarding the interpretation or fulfilment of this contract shall be settled by a tribunal of three arbitrators (the “Arbitral Tribunal”), who shall render a majority decision, reached by application of law and without appeal.
(2) Initiation of the arbitral proceedings
(i) Notice of damage
In order for its claim to be admissible, each Party to the contract shall, within a period of six (6) months from the date when it became aware of the damage sustained, or an absolute time limit of two (2) years beginning on the day after the day when the incident which caused the damage occurred (the action shall be time-barred as soon as one of these time limits has expired), give notice of the claim, by registered letter (with acknowledgment of receipt), to any other Party to the contract against which it wishes to file a claim (the “Notice of damage”).
The Party initiating the Notice of damage shall be called “the Claimant”, and the Party which receives the Notice of damage shall be called “the Respondent”.
(ii) Mandatory conciliation
Beginning on the date when the Notice of damage is sent, there shall be a period of mandatory conciliation between the Parties lasting thirty (30) calendar days (the “conciliation period”).
(iii) Notice of arbitration
In the event that the Parties have not been able to reach an amicable agreement by the end of the conciliation period, it shall be up to the Claimant(s) to notify the Respondent(s) of his/her/their desire to initiate arbitral proceedings by sending a registered letter (with acknowledgment of receipt) (the “Notice of arbitration”) no later than ten (10) calendar days after the end of the conciliation period.
The Notice of arbitration shall, on pain of invalidity, include at least the following: (i) appointment of an arbitrator, (ii) reference to the arbitration clause invoked, (iii) reference to the agreement or relationship out of or in relation to which the dispute arises, (iv) the relief sought and, where appropriate, an estimate of the amount claimed.
Within twenty (20) calendar days following the sending of the Notice of arbitration, the Respondent(s) must select his/her/their own arbitrator and notify the Claimant(s) and the arbitrator already selected by the latter of his/her/their choice. At the same time, the Respondent(s) shall make any counter-claims.
If the Respondent(s) fail(s) to appoint an arbitrator within the time allowed, that arbitrator shall be appointed by the Secretary-General of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) within thirty (30) calendar days following a request by the Claimant.
Where there is more than one Claimant and/or more than one Respondent, the Claimants jointly shall appoint one arbitrator and the Respondents jointly shall appoint one arbitrator.
(3) Composition of the Arbitral Tribunal
(i) Appointment
The two arbitrators appointed by the Claimant(s) and the Respondent(s) shall, by common agreement, select a third arbitrator who shall chair the Arbitral Tribunal de jure.
If the first two arbitrators fail to appoint the third arbitrator within fifteen (15) calendar days of notification of the appointment of the second arbitrator, the third arbitrator shall be nominated by the Secretary-General of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) within thirty (30) calendar days following a request by the first Party to take action or the arbitrators selected by the Parties.
The three arbitrators thus appointed shall constitute the Arbitral Tribunal.
(ii) Independence and impartiality of the arbitrators
Only persons who are independent of the Parties and of their legal counsel may serve as arbitrators.
Each arbitrator shall sign a declaration of independence in which he/she undertakes to abide by the rules of good conduct set out therein and sets out, in writing, any facts and circumstances that could lead any of the Parties to doubt his/her independence. The Parties shall have twenty (20) calendar days following receipt of each arbitrator’s declaration of independence to make any comments.
Moreover, an arbitrator shall immediately disclose in writing to the Parties any facts or circumstances of a similar nature to those referred to in the preceding paragraph which may arise during the arbitration.
(iii) Challenge and replacement of arbitrators
    1. a. Challenge
Any arbitrator may be challenged if circumstances exist that give rise to justifiable doubts as to his/her impartiality or independence.
A Party who intends to challenge an arbitrator shall send notice of his/her challenge within twenty (20) calendar days after the declaration of independence of the challenged arbitrator has been notified to the challenging Party or within twenty (20) calendar days after the circumstances referred to in paragraph (3) (ii) § 3 above became known to that Party.
The challenge shall be notified to the other Party, to the arbitrator who is challenged and to the other members of the Arbitral Tribunal. The notification shall be in writing and shall state the reasons for the challenge.
When an arbitrator has been challenged by one Party, the other Party may agree to the challenge; in that case the arbitrator shall be required to withdraw. The challenged arbitrator may also withdraw voluntarily. In neither case does this imply acceptance of the validity of the grounds for the challenge.
If the other Party does not agree to the challenge and the challenged arbitrator does not withdraw, the decision on the challenge shall be a matter for the Secretariat of the Permanent Court of Arbitration. The Court shall decide on the admissibility and on the merits of the challenge after it has afforded an opportunity for the arbitrator concerned, the other Parties and the other members of the Arbitral Tribunal to comment in writing within a specified period of time. Such comments shall be communicated to the Parties and to the arbitrators, who may respond to them within the time period specified by the Secretariat of the Permanent Court of Arbitration.
    1. b. Replacement
In the event of an arbitrator's death, challenge, accepted withdrawal, resignation, or if there is a cause preventing him from fulfilling his duties, or upon request of all Parties, the arbitrator shall be replaced.
Any new arbitrator shall be nominated by the Secretariat of the Permanent Court of Arbitration within thirty (30) calendar days following a request by the first Party to take action or the remaining arbitrators.
(4) Procedural rules
    1. (i) Terms of Reference
The Arbitral Tribunal shall draw up its Terms of Reference, signed for acceptance by the Parties and the arbitrators, and including at least the following:
  1. (i) rules of procedure setting out the procedural rules expressly stipulated herein, and also setting out procedural formalities not expressly provided for under the terms of this Decision;
  1. (ii) a summary of the facts and claims of each Party;
  1. (iii) the arbitrators’ signed declarations of independence.
If the Arbitral Tribunal finds it necessary, during the proceedings, to take decisions regarding their organization (by means of “Procedural orders”), the Arbitral Tribunal shall take the decision it deems most appropriate with a view to the sound management of the proceedings, whilst ensuring that the Parties are treated equally and that each Party is given the opportunity of presenting his/her case. However, under no circumstances, except with the agreement of the Parties, shall there be any derogations from the rules expressly stipulated under the terms of this Decision.
    1. (ii) Place of arbitration
The Arbitral Tribunal shall meet at the headquarters of the Customs Co-operation Council in Brussels (Belgium).
    1. (iii) Law applicable
The Arbitral Tribunal shall decide the dispute or claim by application of the standards laid down by the WCO and, failing that, by Belgian law or, if appropriate, the law designated by application of the rules of private international law as applied in Belgium.
The Parties agree that under no circumstances shall the Arbitral Tribunal take its decision on the basis of equitable principles, assume the powers of an amiable compositeur or decide ex aequo et bono.
    1. (iv) Language of the arbitration
The arbitration proceedings shall take place in one of the official languages of the WCO (English, French), as determined by the Parties.
    1. (v) Witness statements and experts
If either Party so requests, at any appropriate stage of the proceedings the Arbitral Tribunal shall hold hearings for the presentation of evidence by witnesses, including expert witnesses, or for oral argument.
    1. (vi) Interim measures of protection
The Arbitral Tribunal may, at the request of either Party, take any interim measures it deems necessary to preserve the respective rights of either Party or in respect of the matter in dispute.
Such interim measures may be established in the form of an interim award. The Arbitral Tribunal shall be entitled to require security for the costs of such measures.
A request for interim measures addressed by either Party to a judicial authority shall not be deemed incompatible with the agreement to arbitrate, or as a waiver of that agreement.
    1. (vii) Settlement during proceedings
If, before the award is made, the Parties agree on a settlement of the dispute, the Arbitral Tribunal shall either issue an order for the termination of the arbitral proceedings or, if requested by both Parties and accepted by the Tribunal, record the settlement in the form of an arbitral award on agreed terms.
    1. (Costs and expenses of arbitration
  1. Advance(s)
An advance payment shall be made in respect of the costs of arbitration; it shall be estimated by the Arbitral Tribunal on the basis of the amount of the principal claims and of any counterclaims, according to the Scale of Arbitration Costs of the Belgian Centre for Arbitration and Mediation (CEPANI) in effect on the date of Notice of arbitration.
  1. Attribution
The Arbitral Tribunal shall decide upon the final amount of the costs of arbitration in the framework of the final award, in the light of the services rendered and the costs incurred.
Unless the Parties agree otherwise, in principle the costs of arbitration shall be divided equally between the Parties. However, the Arbitral Tribunal may decide on a different apportionment of the costs if it determines that this is reasonable taking into account the circumstances of the case, provided however that it states the reasons for this decision.
Unless the Parties agree otherwise, each Party shall bear the costs it has incurred for legal representation and assistance. However, the Arbitral Tribunal, taking into account the circumstances of the case, shall be free to determine which Party shall bear such costs or may apportion them between the Parties if it determines that this is reasonable, provided however that it states the reasons for this decision.
    1. Confidentiality
The Parties and the arbitrators undertake to ensure the confidentiality of the arbitral proceedings.
  1. (5) Arbitral Award
  1. (i) Final award, stating the reasons on which it is based
No later than three (3) months after the closing of the proceedings, the Arbitral Tribunal, by majority decision, shall render its final award, stating the factual and legal grounds on which it is based, and communicate it to the Parties.
The Parties agree to accept the arbitral award rendered in accordance with the foregoing provisions as constituting final settlement of the claim or dispute.
The award may be made public, in whole or in part, only with the consent of both Parties unless the Arbitral Tribunal decides otherwise, stating the reasons for its decision, following a specific request made by a Party in the framework of the arbitral proceedings.
  1. (ii) Interpretation of the award
Within twenty (20) calendar days after receipt of the final award or of the corrections made thereto in application of paragraph 5 (iii) below, either Party, with notice to the other Party, may request that the Arbitral Tribunal give an interpretation of the award.
The interpretation shall be given in writing within twenty (20) calendar days after receipt of the request. The interpretation shall form part of the award.
  1. (iii) Correction of the award
Within twenty (20) calendar days after receipt of the final award or of the interpretation given thereof in application of paragraph 5 (ii) above, either Party, with notice to the other Party, may request the Arbitral Tribunal to correct in the award any errors in computation, any clerical or typographical errors, or any errors of a similar nature. The Arbitral Tribunal may, within twenty (20) calendar days after the communication of the award to the Parties, make such corrections on its own initiative.
  1. (6) Privileges and immunities
The Council declares that no provision contained in the present arbitration clause will be considered by it as a waiver, either explicit or implicit, of any privilege or immunity which it may enjoy in law or by virtue of its statute.”

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