NOTIFICATION OF OBJECTIONS TO THE REQUEST FROM THE
FOR THE CERTIFICATION OF ITS SCHEDULE OF COMMITMENTS
The following communication from the delegation of Costa Rica, dated 17 January 2019, is being circulated to all WTO Members.
1.1. Costa Rica hereby refers to document S/C/W/380 of 3 December 2018, which contains a draft Schedule of Specific Commitments under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), as submitted by the United Kingdom for certification in accordance with the "Procedures for the Certification of Rectifications or Improvements to Schedules of Specific Commitments" (S/L/84).
1.2. We invite the United Kingdom to consider the specific points set out by Costa Rica below:
· Categories of business persons covered under Mode 4 (page 13 of the English version):
The United Kingdom has deleted the phrase "without requiring compliance with an economic needs test" from the introductory paragraph, and inserted an equivalent phrase under the description in subcategory (b) concerning intra-corporate transfers (ICT). Costa Rica requests the United Kingdom to clarify that this phrase applies to both category (a) and category (b) of ICTs. This is important in order to clarify that the existing level of commitment is being maintained.
· Categories of business persons covered under Mode 4 (pages 5 and 16 of the English version):
Regarding contractual service suppliers (CSS), Costa Rica is not clear as to the justification for deleting certain sectors from the Schedule. The explanation given on page 5 (English version), namely that "These sectors have been omitted from the horizontal commitments of the UK on contractual service suppliers, as the UK, unlike other EU Member States, is unbound in respect of market access for contractual service suppliers in these sectors", does not suffice to make it clear that this is merely a technical adjustment. On the contrary, the wording of the explanation implies that market access in the CSS category for these areas (computer and related services, research and development services, higher education services, travel agencies and tour operator services, entertainment services, and services related to the sale of equipment or to the assignment of a patent) would become "unbound", a condition that is not reflected in the current EU Schedule. This could therefore be taken to mean that the scope of activities for which commitments exist is being reduced. Please could the United Kingdom clarify the situation regarding such activities.
1.3. Costa Rica would welcome the initiation of consultations with a view to clarifying the two points mentioned in this communication.