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Working Party on Domestic Regulation - Annual report of the Working Party on Domestic Regulation to the Council for Trade in Services (2014)
作者:Working Party on Domestic Regulation



Since its Annual Report of 2013 to the Council for Trade in Services[1], the Working Party on Domestic Regulation (WPDR) has held four formal meetings, respectively on 28 October 2013, 25 February 2014, 7 May 2014 and 17 September 2014.[2] During the period covered by this report, the Working Party continued with its work on domestic regulation disciplines pursuant to GATS Article VI:4. Discussions were undertaken on three tracks: completion of the discussion of technical issues related to the draft disciplines based on questions from Members; examination of regulatory issues based on inputs from Members and the Secretariat; and the launch of the dedicated discussion of domestic regulation in regional trade agreements. 

1  Technical issues

1.1.  Members completed their review of the 93 technical questions contained in the "List of Potential Technical Issues Submitted for Discussion"[3] To facilitate any future follow-up work, the Chairman circulated a document compiling all the information and views exchanged by Members over the course of the work programme. Appended to the compilation were all the informal summaries which had been prepared according to specific themes, together with any additional information provided by Members on their licensing and qualification regimes. In the discussions, Members sought to clarify the use of certain domestic regulation concepts and terms as they relate to their regulatory frameworks and practices. Certain Members also reflected on the implications of the information provided during the technical discussions for the development of horizontal domestic regulation disciplines. Upon the request of Members, during the course of the discussions, the Secretariat prepared 3 background notes on (i) Measures of General Application (S/WPDR/W/47); (ii) Regulatory Issues in Sectors and Modes of Supply (S/WPDR/W/48 and Add.1) ; and (iii) Technical Standards in Services (S/WPDR/W/49). With the compilation provided by the Chairman, the discussions have helped to shed further light on how certain concepts, terms and disciplines under consideration in the negotiations might relate to, or impact on, regulatory practices at the national-level. 

2  Regulatory issues in sectors and modes of supply

2.1.  In 2014, Members also completed their discussions on regulatory issues with background information provided by the Secretariat Note "Regulatory Issues in Sectors and Modes of Supply" (S/WPDR/W/48 and Add.1). Members also specifically addressed the subject of development, and the Secretariat was requested to prepare a supplementary Note on "Services-related regulatory challenges faced by developing countries" (S/WPDR/W/51). In the discussions, Members exchanged views on their national experiences with regulatory reform and capacity building as well as the specific challenges faced by developing countries. Overviews of national regulatory frameworks for specific sectors were also provided by a number of Members. While the discussion was not intended to reach any particular conclusions, it was generally noted by Members to have been a useful exercise which had helped to shed further light on regulatory issues affecting services sectors as well as modes of supply.

3  Dedicated discussion on domestic regulation in regional trade agreements

3.1.  A dedicated discussion on Members' experiences with domestic regulation disciplines in services regional trade agreements was conducted in 2014. The purpose of the discussion was to give Members the opportunity to share details on the different types of domestic regulation provisions that can be found in regional trade agreements (RTAs), as well as to draw any commonalities or differences with the disciplines negotiated under the GATS Article VI:4 mandate. Some Members also shared views on their experiences with negotiating and implementing such disciplines. While still on-going, information has been presented on a wide range of RTAs. This information indicate that domestic regulation provisions in RTAs have generally been based upon existing GATS obligations, as well as the negotiating mandate contained in Article VI:4. In a number of cases, certain modifications and additional obligations have also been included at either the horizontal or sectoral-level. Since the dedicated discussion was not concluded in 2014, it would be expected to continue in 2015.



[1] S/WPDR/16, dated 29 October 2013.

[2] The reports of the formal meetings are contained in documents S/WPDR/M/59-62 and should be read in conjunction with this report.

[3] RD/SERV/68.