The Contracting States,
Considering that the free exchange of ideas and knowledge and, in general, the widest possible dissemination of the diverse forms of self-expression used by civilisations are vitally important both for intellectual progress and international understanding, and consequently for the maintenance of world peace;
Considering that this interchange is accomplished primarily by means of books, publications and educational, scientific and cultural materials;
Considering that the Constitution of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation urges co-operation between nations in all branches of intellectual activity, including “the exchange of publications, objects of artistic and scientific interest and other materials of information” and provides further that the Organisation shall “collaborate in the work of advancing the mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples, through all means of mass communication, and to that end recommend such international agreements as may be necessary to promote the free flow of ideas by word and image”;
Recognise that these aims will be effectively furthered by an international agreement facilitating the free flow of books, publications and educational, scientific and cultural materials; and
Have, therefore, agreed to the following provisions:—
1 The Contracting States undertake not to apply customs duties or other charges on, or in connexion with, the importation of—
(a) Books, publications and documents, listed in annex A to this Agreement;
(b) Educational, scientific and cultural materials, listed in annexes B, C, D and E to this Agreement;
which are the products of another Contracting State, subject to the conditions laid down in those annexes.
2 The Contracting States which at any time apply quantitative restrictions and exchange control measures undertake to grant, as far as possible, foreign exchange and licences necessary for the importation of other educational, scientific or cultural materials, and particularly the materials referred to in the annexes to this Agreement.
1 The Contracting States undertake to give every possible facility to the importation of educational, scientific or cultural materials, which are imported exclusively for showing at a public exhibition approved by the competent authorities of the importing country and for subsequent re-exportation. These facilities shall include the granting of the necessary licences and exemption from customs duties and internal taxes and charges of all kinds payable on importation, other than fees and charges corresponding to the approximate cost of services rendered.
The Contracting States undertake that they will as far as possible—
(a) Continue their common efforts to promote by every means the free circulation of educational, scientific or cultural materials, and abolish or reduce any restrictions to that free circulation which are not referred to this Agreement;
(b) Simplify the administrative procedure governing the importation of educational, scientific or cultural materials;
(c) Facilitate the expeditious and safe customs clearance of educational, scientific or cultural materials.
Nothing in this Agreement shall affect the right of Contracting States to take measures, in conformity with their legislation, to prohibit or limit the importation, or the circulation after importation, of articles on grounds relating directly to national security, public order or public morals.
This Agreement shall not modify or affect the laws and regulations of any Contracting State or any of its international treaties, conventions, agreements or proclamations, with respect to copyright, trademarks or patents.
Subject to the provisions of any previous conventions to which the Contracting States may have subscribed for the settlement of disputes, the Contracting States undertake to have recourse to negotiations or conciliation, with a view to settlement of any disputes regarding the interpretation or the application of this Agreement.
In case of a dispute between Contracting States relating to the educational, scientific or cultural character of imported materials, the interested Parties may, by common agreement, refer it to the Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation for an advisory opinion.
1 This Agreement, of which the English and French texts are equally authentic, shall bear to-day's date and remain open for signature by all Member States of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, all Member States of the United Nations and any non-member State to which an invitation may have been adressed by the Executive Board of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.
The States referred to in paragraph 1 of article IX may accept this Agreement from 22nd November, 1950. Acceptance shall become effective on the deposit of a formal instrument with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
This Agreement shall come into force on the date on which the Secretary-General of the United Nations receives instruments of ratification or acceptance from ten States.
3 Within one month of the expiration of the periods mentioned in paragraphs 1 and 2 of this article, the Contracting States to this Agreement shall submit a report to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation of the measures which they have taken for such fully effective operation.
4 The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation shall transmit this report to all signatory States to this Agreement and to the International Trade Organisation (provisionally, to its Interim Commission).
Any Contracting State may, at the time of signature or the deposit of its instrument of ratification or acceptance, or at any time thereafter, declare by notification adressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations that this Agreement shall extend to all or any of the territories for the conduct of whose foreign relations that Contracting State is responsible.
1 Two years after the date of the coming into force of this Agreement, any Contracting State may, on its own behalf or on behalf of any of the territories for the conduct of whose foreign relations that Contracting State is responsible, denounce this Agreement by an instrument in writing deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall inform the States referred to in paragraph 1 of article IX, as well as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, and the International Trade Organisation (provisionally, its Interim Commission), of the deposit of all the instruments of ratification and acceptance provided for in articles IX and X, as well as of the notifications and denunciations provided for respectively in articles XIII and XIV.
At the request of one-third of the Contracting States to this Agreement, the Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation shall place on the agenda on the next session of the General Conference of that Organisation the question of convoking a meeting for the revision of this Agreement.
Annexes A, B, C, D and E, as well as the Protocol annexed to this Agreement, are hereby made an integral part of this Agreement.
Done at Lake Success, New York, this twenty-second day of November, one thousand nine hundred and fifty, in a single copy, which shall remain deposited in the archives of the United Nations and certified true copies of which shall be delivered to all the States referred to in paragraph 1 of article IX, as well as to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation and to the International Trade Organisation (provisionally, to its Interim Commission).