Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization
Decision on Negotiations on Maritime Transport Services
Noting that commitments scheduled by participants on maritime
transport services at the conclusion of the Uruguay Round shall
enter into force on an MFN basis at the same time as the Agreement
Establishing the World Trade Organization (hereinafter referred
to as the "WTO Agreement"),
Decide as follows:
1. Negotiations shall be entered into on a voluntary basis in
the sector of maritime transport services within the framework
of the General Agreement on Trade in Services. The negotiations
shall be comprehensive in scope, aiming at commitments in international
shipping, auxiliary services and access to and use of port facilities,
leading to the elimination of restrictions within a fixed time
2. A Negotiating Group on Maritime Transport Services (hereinafter
referred to as the "NGMTS") is established to carry
out this mandate. The NGMTS shall report periodically on the progress
of these negotiations.
3. The negotiations in the NGMTS shall be open to all governments
and the European Communities which announce their intention to
participate. To date, the following have announced their intention
to take part in the negotiations:
Argentina, Canada, European Communities and their member States,
Finland, Hong Kong, Iceland, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico,
New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Singapore,
Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, United States.
Further notifications of intention to participate shall be addressed
to the Depositary of the WTO Agreement.
4. The NGMTS shall hold its first negotiating session no later
than 16 May 1994. It shall conclude these negotiations and make
a final report no later than June 1996. The final report of the
NGMTS shall include a date for the implementation of results of
5. Until the conclusion of the negotiations Article II and paragraphs
1 and 2 of the Annex on Article II Exemptions are suspended in
their application to this sector, and it is not necessary to list
MFN exemptions. At the conclusion of the negotiations, Members
shall be free to improve, modify or withdraw any commitments made
in this sector during the Uruguay Round without offering compensation,
notwithstanding the provisions of Article XXI of the Agreement.
At the same time Members shall finalize their positions relating
to MFN exemptions in this sector, notwithstanding the provisions
of the Annex on Article II Exemptions. Should negotiations not
succeed, the Council for Trade in Services shall decide whether
to continue the negotiations in accordance with this mandate.
6. Any commitments resulting from the negotiations, including
the date of their entry into force, shall be inscribed in the
Schedules annexed to the General Agreement on Trade in Services
and be subject to all the provisions of the Agreement.
7. Commencing immediately and continuing until the implementation
date to be determined under paragraph 4, it is understood that
participants shall not apply any measure affecting trade in maritime
transport services except in response to measures applied by other
countries and with a view to maintaining or improving the freedom
of provision of maritime transport services, nor in such a manner
as would improve their negotiating position and leverage.
8. The implementation of paragraph 7 shall be subject to surveillance
in the NGMTS. Any participant may bring to the attention of the
NGMTS any action or omission which it believes to be relevant
to the fulfilment of paragraph 7. Such notifications shall be
deemed to have been submitted to the NGMTS upon their receipt
by the Secretariat.
Continue on to Decision on Negotiations on Basic Telecommunications