A technical consultation workshop titled ‘The scope of the MAC Protocol and the Harmonized System’ was held at Harris Manchester College in the University of Oxford on Monday, 9 September 2019.
This event was jointly organised by UNIDROIT and the Commercial Law Centre of Harris Manchester College.
This event brought together 30 legal experts, government representatives and industry stakeholders to discuss the relationship between the MAC Protocol and the Harmonized System (HS), with a particular focus on:
- The use of HS codes to define the application of the MAC Protocol in relation to mining, agricultural and construction (MAC) equipment
- The HS codes currently proposed for inclusion in the MAC Protocol
- How the MAC Protocol will adapt to revisions to the Harmonized System
Participants were welcomed by the co-chairs, Professor Ignacio Tirado (Secretary-General of UNIDROIT) and Professor Louise Gullifer (Professor of Commercial Law, University of Oxford) and opening remarks were delivered by Sir Roy Goode (author of the Official Commentaries to the Cape Town Convention and its Protocols). Session 1 of the workshop focussed on the relationship between the MAC Protocol and the HS. This featured an introductory presentation on the Cape Town Convention and the MAC Protocol from Professor Anna Veneziano (UNIDROIT Deputy Secretary-General), followed by an introduction to the HS by Ms Gael Grooby, (Deputy Director, Tariff and Trade Directorate, World Customs Organization). This was followed by a presentation by Professor Louise Gullifer on the use of the HS to define the scope of the MAC Protocol.
Session 2 of the workshop focussed on the process of selection of HS codes for inclusion in the MAC Protocol Annexes, this included a joint presentation by Mr Hamza Hameed (Legal Consultant, UNIDROIT) and Mr Simon Stanley (Research Attorney, NatLaw) which examined the HS codes presently listed in the draft MAC Protocol Annexes, as well as a presentation by Mr Phil Durham (Secretary-General of the MAC Working Group) on the role of the private sector in establishing the scope of the MAC Protocol. Discussions focused on the individual HS codes that have been proposed by States for inclusion in the MAC Protocol Annexes.
Session 3 focussed on the process to amend the MAC Protocol to accommodate periodic revisions to the HS. This featured a presentation from Teresa Rodriguez De Las Heras Ballell (Professor, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid) on the development of the amendment article in the draft MAC Protocol, as well as a presentation by William Brydie-Watson (Senior Legal Officer, UNIDROIT) detailing the UNIDROIT Secretariat’s MAC Protocol amendment mechanism proposal. This was followed by an expert roundtable discussing the amendment mechanism in depth.