The cargo of the chemical tanker 'Key Bay' that is set to arrive the city of Fécamp, France, later today, will not be tariffed.
EU Oberver wrote on 13 September 2016 that French customs had "decided that the shipment is not liable for tariffs, in line with the EU-Morocco trade treaties, because, the EU says, those accords remain in force despite the December 2015 ECJ ruling".
The Court of Justice of the EU on 10 December 2015 stated that goods from Western Sahara could not be included in the EU-Morocco trade agreement.
However, while the EU institutions indeed appealed the decision, they did not request a suspension of the decision of the court. In other words, from what Western Sahara Resource Watch understands, the decision from 10 December 2015 is valid while awaiting the appeal to be concluded.
The vessel contains large volumes of fish oil, a highly valuable product, and the first such confirmed cargo into the EU in 2016.
When the sister vessels of Key Bay arrived Norway until 2010, Norwegian customs fined the importer for not paying tariffs. Norway has a trade agreement with Morocco, and is clear that Western Sahara is not part of it. In 2010, the trade to Norway stopped due to the controversy, and the exports shifted to Normandy instead.
Morocco occupies the major part of its neighbouring country, Western Sahara. Entering into business deals with Moroccan companies or authorities in the occupied territories gives an impression of political legitimacy to the occupation. It also gives job opportunities to Moroccan settlers and income to the Moroccan government. Western Sahara Resource Watch demands foreign companies leave Western Sahara until a solution to the conflict is found.
It's not easy keeping up with all the different legal proceedings relating to Western Sahara. For the sake of clarity, here's an overview of the three different cases at the Court of Justice of the European Union.
Leading activists from Western Sahara are condemned to sentences ranging from 20 years to life imprisonment in connection to a mass protest in 2010 denouncing the Saharawi people’s social and economic marginalization in their occupied land; the Gdeim Izik protest camp.
At COP22, beware of what you read about Morocco’s renewable energy efforts. An increasing part of the projects take place in the occupied territory of Western Sahara and is used for mineral plunder, new WSRW report documents.