Analytical Note, June 2009

The Cotonou Partnership Agreement, the Economic Partnership Agreements and WTO Compatibility: Can Initialed Interim EPAs be Notified?.

This Analytical Note analyses the legal status of the interim Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) under WTO law. This is because most of the EPAs thus far initialed are interim agreements. It is thus important to understand the legal status of these interim agreements under article XXIV of GATT.

The Note concludes that ACP states that have initialed interim EPAs do not need to sign in order for the interim EPAs to be notified to the WTO. Secondly asymmetrical trade liberalization is perfectly legitimate in an interim EPA with a lengthy transitional period.

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