44. Article 24 of the Convention provides for the temporary free importation of aircraft on a flight on the territory of a contracting state or to or beyond the territory of a contracting state, subject to the customs provisions of that state. They may justify a customs obligation if the aircraft is transferred to the service of an airline in a given state. The problem would be primarily of domestic political importance and, subject to state laws, able to be overcome by administrative measures. Therefore, this is not an issue on which a multilateral agreement is needed. 21. The aim of this agenda item was to allow delegates to exchange views on the principles that could form the basis of a multilateral agreement on the exchange of trade rights for international airline services between the Member States of the European Civil Aviation Conference. It was understood that there was no intention to conclude or develop such a multilateral agreement, and the policy statements of the Conference delegates at the beginning of the review of this point showed that the time had not yet come to develop a multilateral agreement replacing bilateral agreements in Europe. 24. After an initial review of these proposals, the Conference turned to examining the fundamental principles of a multilateral agreement. The resulting exchange of views can be discussed in the minutes of the eleventh and twelfth sessions of Subcommittee A of Commission II.
The views expressed by delegates suggested that there was some degree of convergence on the issues of principles and objectives, although there were differences of opinion on how to implement these principles and on the pace at which States should strive to move towards multilateralism. 3. The international agreement on air services, commonly known as the Five Freedoms Agreement, was also concluded and opened for signature. Although it was known at the time that this agreement would not be acceptable to a number of states, it served as a useful temporary objective for the states that accepted it. The number of accepting states has reached a maximum of 17, but it is now decreasing, 4 have denounced the agreement. The United States announced on July 25, 1946, the denunciation of its acceptance and, on July 25, 1947, ceased to be parties to this agreement. 2. The international aviation transit agreement, commonly known as the Two Freedoms Agreement, was concluded and was launched at the signing.
This agreement had been adopted by 36 states as of June 30, 1947. It has done much to deal with the obstacles that have so far limited the development of global air transport. 30. The other group of States felt that the system of bilateral agreements should be maintained for the time being in order to regulate the future and current exchange of aviation rights in Europe. Delegates from this group stressed that the airlines had achieved valuable results from cooperation between them and felt that the role of governments should be limited to facilitating such cooperation. It appeared that the airlines themselves were the most likely to know which forms of cooperation would produce the best economic results as soon as possible. These ideas were echoed in the United Kingdom`s recommendation, which followed the guidelines of Recommendation 1 of the 1954 conference, to encourage states to positively consider the agreements proposed by their airlines and to consider the possibility of a multilateral agreement at a later date. 23. Although it was concluded that it would be premature to develop a multi-stage agreement, some delegates put forward proposals for Member States to take partial or limited multilateral measures that would govern or complement their bilateral agreements.