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Israel and European Common Market Countries Sign Preferential Trade Agreement

Israel and the European Common Market countries signed a preferential trade treaty at ceremonies here this morning. The signatories were Israel’s Foreign Minister Abba Eban, Pierre Harmel, president pro-tem of the Council of Ministers of the ECC and Foreign Minister of Belgium and Jean Rey, president of the ECC Commission. The agreement, effective Oct. 1, provides for mutual tariff reductions by Israel and the six Common Market countries. Under its terms, about 85 percent of all dutiable Israeli industrial products imported by the European community will benefit from a reduction of duties up to 50 percent. The tariff reductions will start at 30 percent when the pact is activated and will rise by five percent each January 1 thereafter. Eighty percent of dutiable Israeli agricultural exports will benefit from a 40 percent tariff reduction. Israel on its part will reduce its customs duties by 10-30 percent on about half of the agricultural and industrial items it imports from Common Market countries.