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General Council - Council for Trade in Goods - Council for Trade in Services - TRIPS Council - Committee on Trade and Development - Committee on Agriculture - An inclusive approach to transparency and notification requirements in the WTO - Communication from the African Group, Cuba, India and Oman - Revision
日期:2019/07/26
作者:The African Group, Cuba, India and Oman
文件編號:JOB/AG/158/Rev.2, JOB/CTG/15/Rev.2, JOB/DEV/58/Rev.2, JOB/GC/218/Rev.2, JOB/IP/33/Rev.2, JOB/SERV/292/Rev.2
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AN INCLUSIVE APPROACH TO TRANSPARENCY AND
NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS IN THE WTO

COMMUNICATION FROM the african group, Cuba, India and oman

Revision*

The following communication, dated 22 July 2019, is being circulated at the request of the delegations of Benin, on behalf of the African Group, Cuba, India and Oman.

 

 

1  Introduction

1.1.  Transparency remains an important issue within the operation and monitoring function of the WTO. The issue of compliance with notification obligations has been contentious. Developing countries often struggle to comply with onerous obligations, while in many instances, developed countries also do not comply with their notification requirements or do so selectively.

1.2.  In general it can be said that the capacity of developing countries to comply with notification obligations is inextricably linked with their level of economic development and access to resources. The capacity and resource constraints that developing countries face cannot be underestimated. Notifications require a deep understanding of the entire range of WTO Agreements, mature institutional mechanisms and human resource capacities that are often lacking in developing countries. Any work in this area should be on supporting and incentivizing developing countries to address these difficulties, especially as it relates to transparency obligations. Existing notification obligations should be rationalized so that they are commensurate with Members’ level of development. Developing countries, SVEs and LDCs should not be expected to take on notification obligations which are beyond their capacities.

1.3.  In contrast, in some of the recent proposals on transparency, Members are proposing new or strengthened notification obligations. If developing countries are not able to meet current notification obligations, there would be no possibility of meeting even higher notification requirements in future.

1.4.  There is also a prevailing concern about the ongoing activities in the regular bodies that seem to increase transparency obligations under the guise of efficient rationalisation of notification procedures and formats. Some examples of the abovementioned concern include activities in the:

          Committee on Rules of Origin (CRO): Where Switzerland continues to negotiate outcomes on transparency in non-preferential rules of origin. Document G/RO/W/182 remains subject to various concerns raised by developing country Members.

 

          Committee on Market Access: Transparency in applied rates (Russian Federation proposal) JOB/MA/138 is of great concern as it increases the burden of notification.

 

1.5.  Given the challenging issue of resource constraints, developing countries should not be subjected to any transparency obligations which go beyond existing obligations.

1.6.  Further, transparency cannot only be seen from the view of notification obligations. It should permeate the full spectrum of the operation of the WTO, from its day-to-day meetings, as well as Ministerial Conferences.