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GATT

The 128 countries that had signed GATT by 1994 On 1 January 1995, the WTO replaced GATT, which had been in existence since 1947, as the organization overseeing the multilateral trading system. The governments that had signed GATT were officially known as “GATT contracting parties”. Upon signing the new WTO agreements (which include the updated GATT, known as GATT 1994), they officially became known as “WTO members”.

The list below is historical. It contains the 128 GATT signatories as at the end of 1994, together with the dates they signed the agreement.

GATT and the Goods Council

The General Agreement on T ariffs and Trade (GATT) covers international trade in goods. The workings of the GATT agreement are the responsibility of the Council for Trade in Goods (Goods Council) which is made up of representatives from all WTO member countries. The current chairperson is H.E. Dr. Anthony Mothae MARUPING (Lesotho).

The Goods Council has 10 committees dealing with specific subjects (such as agriculture, market access, subsidies, anti-dumping measures and so on). Again, these committees consist of all member countries.

Also reporting to the Goods Council are a working party on state trading enterprises, and the Information T echnology Agreement (ITA) Committee.

GENERAL AGREEMENT ON TARIFFS AND TRADE 1994

1. The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 ("GATT 1994") shall consist of:

(a) the provisions in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, dated 30 October 1947, annexed to the Final Act Adopted at the Conclusion of the Second Session of the Preparatory Committee

of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Employment (excluding the Protocol of Provisional Application), as rectified, amended or modified by the terms of legal instruments which have entered

into force before the date of entry into force of the WTO Agreement;

(b) the provisions of the legal instruments set forth below that have entered into force under

the GATT 1947 before the date of entry into force of the WTO Agreement:

(i) protocols and certifications relating to tariff concessions;

(ii) protocols of accession (excluding the provisions (a) concerning provisional

application and withdrawal of provisional application and (b) providing that

Part II of GATT 1947 shall be applied provisionally to the fullest extent not

inconsistent with legislation existing on the date of the Protocol);

(iii) decisions on waivers granted under Article XXV of GATT 1947 and still in

force on the date of entry into force of the WTO Agreement1;

(iv) other decisions of the CONTRACTING PARTIES to GATT 1947;

(c) the Understandings set forth below:

(i) Understanding on the Interpretation of Article II:1(b) of the General Agreement

on Tariffs and Trade 1994;

(ii) Understanding on the Interpretation of Article XVII of the General Agreement

on Tariffs and Trade 1994;

(iii) Understanding on Balance-of-Payments Provisions of the General Agreement

on Tariffs and Trade 1994;

(iv) Understanding on the Interpretation of Article XXIV of the General Agreement

on Tariffs and Trade 1994;

(v) Understanding in Respect of Waivers of Obligations under the General

Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994;

(vi) Understanding on the Interpretation of Article XXVIII of the General Agreement

on Tariffs and Trade 1994; and

(d) the Marrakesh Protocol to GATT 1994.

1The waivers covered by this provision are listed in footnote 7 on pages 11 and 12 in Part II of document MTN/FA of

15 December 1993 and in MTN/FA/Corr.6 of 21 March 1994. The Ministerial Conference shall establish at its first session

a revised list of waivers covered by this provision that adds any waivers granted under GATT 1947 after 15 December 1993

and before the date of entry into force of the WTO Agreement, and deletes the waivers which will have expired by that time.

2. Explanatory Notes

(a) The references to "contracting party" in the provisions of GATT 1994 shall be deemed

to read "Member". The references to "less-developed contracting party" and "developed contracting party" shall be deemed to read "developing country Member" and "developed country Member". The

references to "Executive Secretary" shall be deemed to read "Director-General of the WTO". (b) The references to the CONTRACTING PARTIES acting jointly in Articles XV:1, XV:2,

XV:8, XXXVIII and the Notes Ad Article XII and XVIII; and in the provisions on special exchange

agreements in Articles XV:2, XV:3, XV:6, XV:7 and XV:9 of GATT 1994 shall be deemed to be references to the WTO. The other functions that the provisions of GATT 1994 assign to the CONTRACTING PARTIES acting jointly shall be allocated by the Ministerial Conference.

(c) (i) The text of GATT 1994 shall be authentic in English, French and Spanish.

(ii) The text of GATT 1994 in the French language shall be subject to the

rectifications of terms indicated in Annex A to document MTN.TNC/41.

(iii) The authentic text of GA TT 1994 in the Spanish language shall be the text

in V olume IV of the Basic Instruments and Selected Documents series, subject

to the rectifications of terms indicated in Annex B to document MTN.TNC/41.

3. (a) The provisions of Part II of GATT 1994 shall not apply to measures taken by a Member under specific mandatory legislation, enacted by that Member before it became a contracting party to

GA TT 1947, that prohibits the use, sale or lease of foreign-built or foreign-reconstructed vessels in commercial applications between points in national waters or the waters of an exclusive economic zone.

This exemption applies to: (a) the continuation or prompt renewal of a non-conforming provision of

such legislation; and (b) the amendment to a non-conforming provision of such legislation to the extent

that the amendment does not decrease the conformity of the provision with Part II of GA TT 1947. This exemption is limited to measures taken under legislation described above that is notified and specified prior to the date of entry into force of the WTO Agreement. If such legislation is subsequently

modified to decrease its conformity with Part II of GATT 1994, it will no longer qualify for coverage

under this paragraph.

(b) The Ministerial Conference shall review this exemption not later than five years after

the date of entry into force of the WTO Agreement and thereafter every two years for as long as the exemption is in force for the purpose of examining whether the conditions which created the need for

the exemption still prevail.

(c) A Member whose measures are covered by this exemption shall annually submit a detailed statistical notification consisting of a five-year moving average of actual and expected deliveries of relevant vessels as well as additional information on the use, sale, lease or repair of relevant vessels covered by this exemption.

(d) A Member that considers that this exemption operates in such a manner as to justify

a reciprocal and proportionate limitation on the use, sale, lease or repair of vessels constructed in the territory of the Member invoking the exemption shall be free to introduce such a limitation subject to prior notification to the Ministerial Conference.

(e) This exemption is without prejudice to solutions concerning specific aspects of the legislation covered by this exemption negotiated in sectoral agreements or in other fora.