Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization
Understanding on the Interpretation of Article II:1(b) of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994
Members hereby agree as follows:
1. In order to ensure transparency of the legal rights and obligations
deriving from paragraph 1(b) of Article II, the nature and level
of any "other duties or charges" levied on bound tariff
items, as referred to in that provision, shall be recorded in
the Schedules of concessions annexed to GATT 1994 against the
tariff item to which they apply. It is understood that such recording
does not change the legal character of "other duties or charges".
2. The date as of which "other duties or charges" are
bound, for the purposes of Article II, shall be 15 April 1994.
"Other duties or charges" shall therefore be recorded
in the Schedules at the levels applying on this date. At each
subsequent renegotiation of a concession or negotiation of a new
concession the applicable date for the tariff item in question
shall become the date of the incorporation of the new concession
in the appropriate Schedule. However, the date of the instrument
by which a concession on any particular tariff item was first
incorporated into GATT 1947 or GATT 1994 shall also continue to
be recorded in column 6 of the Loose-Leaf Schedules.
3. "Other duties or charges" shall be recorded in respect
of all tariff bindings.
4. Where a tariff item has previously been the subject of a concession,
the level of "other duties or charges" recorded in the
appropriate Schedule shall not be higher than the level obtaining
at the time of the first incorporation of the concession in that
Schedule. It will be open to any Member to challenge the existence
of an "other duty or charge", on the ground that no
such "other duty or charge" existed at the time of the
original binding of the item in question, as well as the consistency
of the recorded level of any "other duty or charge"
with the previously bound level, for a period of three years after
the date of entry into force of the WTO Agreement or three years
after the date of deposit with the Director-General of the WTO
of the instrument incorporating the Schedule in question into
GATT 1994, if that is a later date.
5. The recording of "other duties or charges" in the
Schedules is without prejudice to their consistency with rights
and obligations under GATT 1994 other than those affected by paragraph
4. All Members retain the right to challenge, at any time, the
consistency of any "other duty or charge" with such
6. For the purposes of this Understanding, the provisions of Articles
XXII and XXIII of GATT 1994 as elaborated and applied by the Dispute
Settlement Understanding shall apply.
7. "Other duties or charges" omitted from a Schedule
at the time of deposit of the instrument incorporating the Schedule
in question into GATT 1994 with, until the date of entry into
force of the WTO Agreement, the Director-General to the CONTRACTING
PARTIES to GATT 1947 or, thereafter, with the Director-General
of the WTO, shall not subsequently be added to it and any "other
duty or charge" recorded at a level lower than that prevailing
on the applicable date shall not be restored to that level unless
such additions or changes are made within six months of the date
of deposit of the instrument.
8. The decision in paragraph 2 regarding the date applicable to
each concession for the purposes of paragraph 1(b) of Article
II of GATT 1994 supersedes the decision regarding the applicable
date taken on 26 March 1980 (BISD 27S/24).
Continue on to Understanding on the Interpretation of Article XVII
of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994