South Centre Paper, July 2005

A Compilation of Negotiating Proposals on Trade Facilitation

Paragraph 27 of the 2001 Doha Ministerial Declaration states that: 27. Recognizing the case for further expediting the movement, release and clearance of goods, including goods in transit, and the need for enhanced technical assistance and capacity building in this area, we agree that negotiations will take place after the Fifth Session of the Ministerial Conference on the basis of a decision to be taken, by explicit consensus, at that session on modalities of negotiations. In the period until the Fifth Session, the Council for Trade in Goods shall review and as appropriate, clarify and improve relevant aspects of Articles V, VIII and X of the GATT 1994 and identify the trade facilitation needs and priorities of members, in particular developing and least-developed countries. We commit ourselves to ensuring adequate technical assistance and support for capacity building in this area.

Paragraph 1(g) and Annex D of the General Council Decision of 1 August 2004 (WT/L/579) launched the WTO negotiations on trade facilitation and provided for the modalities under which the negotiations would take place. Annex D emphasises the principle of Special and differential treatment as well as the need for technical assistance and capacity building.

This compilation is intended to assist developing countries in the trade facilitation negotiations by compiling the negotiating proposals submitted by WTO Members to the Negotiating Group on Trade Facilitation, and arranging these proposals according to the issue area or subject matter that they pertain to in the context of the GATT provision (e.g. GATT 1994 Article V, VIII, or X) under which they are grouped. Proposals relating to the provision of special and differential (S&D) treatment and to technical assistance and capacity-building are indicated as such. The name of the WTO Member making the proposal and the relevant WTO document number are indicated in brackets after each proposal.

The texts of the proposals contained in this compilation were obtained from the revised WTO Secretariat document no. TN/TF/W/43/Rev.4 (31 October 2005) entitled “Clarification and Improvement of GATT Articles V, VIII, and X: Proposals Made by WTO Members.” Included in this revision is India’s proposal (TN/TF/W/68) on establishment of a mechanism to facilitate cooperation between custom authorities (see page 10), proposals in relation to use of international standards (TN/TF/W/67) by New Zealand, Norway, and Switzerland (page 22), and Chile’s proposal (TN/TF/W/70) in relation to various aspects relating to all three Articles (pages 7, 15,25,35,38 and 41).

This compilation covers negotiating proposals submitted by Members up to the end of October 2005.

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