Committee on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures - Notification provisions under the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures - Background note by the Secretariat - Revision

NOTIFICATION provisions UNDER THE AGREEMENT

ON SUBSIDIES AND COUNTERVAILING MEASURES

Background Note by the Secretariat

Revision

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1   introduction.. 2

2   notification provisions in the scm agreement. 2

2.1   Regular Notifications. 2

2.1.1   Notification of Subsidies under Article 25. 2

2.1.2   Notification of Countervailing Measures. 5

2.1.3   Notification of Competent Authorities. 5

2.1.4   Notification of Countervailing Duty Legislation. 5

2.2   Special Notifications. 6

2.2.1   Notification of Non-Actionable Subsidies under Article 8.3. 6

2.2.2   Notifications Related to the Provisions of Article 27 Regarding Special and Differential Treatment of Developing Country Members. 6

2.2.3   Notifications under the Transitional Arrangements Set Out in Article 28.1(a) 6

2.2.4   Notifications under the Transitional Arrangements Set Out in Article 29.3. 7

3   notification of subsidies in the context of wto accessions. 7

ANNEX A. 8

ANNEX B. 12

ANNEX C. 30

ANNEX D. 31

ANNEX E. 32

ANNEX F. 35

ANNEX G. 36

ANNEX H.. 37

ANNEX I. 40

ANNEX J. 42

ANNEX K. 43

ANNEX L. 44

1  introduction

1.       Pursuant to a request of the Chairman of the Trade Policy Review Body, to discuss "ways to improve the timeliness and completeness of notifications and other information flows on trade measures" in the context of the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures ("the SCM Agreement"), the Committee on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures ("the Committee") discussed this matter in several informal and regular meetings held since 2009. Document G/SCM/W/546 dated 28 April 2009 which contained information on the notification obligations under the SCM Agreement and the level of compliance with each of these obligations, was circulated as a background Note for the Committee's discussions in this regard. In the course of the meetings held since 2009, Members indicated that updating this document on a regular basis would be useful for the Committee's future work on improving transparency in notifications. This thirteenth  revision reflects developments since March 2021.

2  notification provisions in the scm agreement

2.       The notification requirements of the SCM Agreement[1] can be divided into regular notification requirements, which apply in principle to all Members, and special notification requirements, which apply to Members invoking particular provisions.

3.       With respect to regular notification requirements, Part VII of the SCM Agreement ("Notification and Surveillance") contains requirements regarding the notification of subsidies (Article 25.1), countervailing measures (Article 25.11) and competent authorities that conduct countervailing duty investigations (Article 25.12). In addition, Article 32.6 in Part XI of the SCM Agreement ("Final Provisions") requires notification of laws and regulations relevant to the SCM Agreement.

4.       The SCM Agreement contains special notification requirements regarding certain aspects of the provisions of Article 27 on Special and Differential Treatment of Developing Country Members. Special notification requirements also applied under provisions, which are no longer applicable, on non-actionable subsidy programmes (Article 8) and on transitional arrangements regarding existing programmes (Article 28) and transformation into a market economy (Article 29).

2.1  Regular Notifications

2.1.1  Notification of Subsidies under Article 25

2.1.1.1  Articles 25.1-7

5.       Article 25.1 of the SCM Agreement provides that, without prejudice to the provisions of Article XVI:1 of the GATT 1994[2], Members shall make their subsidy notifications not later than 30 June of each year.[3] Article 25.2 of the Agreement provides that "Members shall notify any subsidy as defined in paragraph 1 of Article 1, which is specific within the meaning of Article 2, granted or maintained within their territories".[4]

6.       Article 25.3 of the SCM Agreement contains certain requirements regarding the content of subsidy notifications. Thus, "the content of notifications should be sufficiently specific to enable other Members to evaluate the trade effects and to understand the operation of notified subsidy programmes", and Members are obligated to ensure that their subsidy notifications contain information on the form, amount, policy objectives and/or purpose and duration of the subsidy and statistical data permitting an assessment of the trade effects of the subsidy.



[1] The relevant provisions of the SCM Agreement are reproduced in Annex A.

[2] Article XVI:1 of the GATT 1994 requires the notification of subsidies, including any form of price or income support, which have an impact on the exports or imports of the product benefiting from the subsidy.

[3] As explained below, based on a decision adopted by the Committee in May 2001, Members submit subsidy notifications under Article 25.1 of the SCM Agreement every second year. Infra, para. 12.

[4] Article 25.6 provides that a Member must also provide a nil notification if it considers that there are no measures in its territory that require notification. Article 25.7 recognizes that notification of a measure under Article 25 is without prejudice to its legal status under the GATT 1994 and the SCM Agreement.