This morning in Parliament, INTA committee MEP David Martin (rapporteur) iterated the claim there were no searches of individuals at the customs in ACTA. Indeed, the EU-Commission invoked the impression several times. But it is misleading.
Let’s read the text:
ARTICLE 14: SMALL CONSIGNMENTS AND PERSONAL LUGGAGE
1. Each Party shall include in the application of this Section goods of a commercial nature sent in small consignments.
2. A Party may exclude from the application of this Section small quantities of goods of a non-commercial nature contained in travellers’ personal luggage.
“Exclusion” legally means, it’s not in, or it is ruled out from the scope of the agreement. “May” indicates a so called flexibility, here further limited to “goods of a non-commercial nature”.
As a side note, I don’t care if ACTA leads to customs searches of individual passenger. Just keep the facts straight. Even 2008 it was a straw man of the Commission to claim there were these “false allegation” on “ipod searches” floating around.
In fact, I never read these article about iPod searches at the customs or heard an advocacy group in Europe to make that consumer case. I only heard about the straw man of the ACTA defenders that there were these “misconceptions” of critics, even at times when ACTA was yet in a preparatory phase. Actually, as you see from the text, it wouldn’t even be even a misconception though it is a side topic. A distraction.