WTO legal texts

Most of the WTO agreements are the result of the 1986–94 Uruguay Round negotiations, signed at the Marrakesh ministerial meeting in April 1994. There are about 60 agreements and decisions totalling 550 pages.

Negotiations since then have produced additional legal texts such as the Information Technology Agreement, services and accession protocols. New negotiations were launched at the Doha Ministerial Conference in November 2001.

 > See also pre-WTO legal texts


Schedules of commitments

  

  

The texts reproduced here do not have the legal standing of the original documents which are entrusted and kept at the WTO Secretariat in Geneva.

 

  

  S & D 

Special and differential provisions in the legal texts:

Developing countries, particularly least-developed countries, are given more flexibility in implementing certain WTO rules.

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Introduction    back to top

Introduction to the Agreements
“Understanding the WTO”

  

Legal text index    back to top

Consult the detailed index of the Uruguay Round legal texts.
Examples: “accession”, “decision-making”, “least-developed country Members”.

A B C D E F G H I J K L
M N O P Q R S T U V W XYZ

  

The Uruguay Round agreements    back to top

The “Final Act” signed in Marrakesh in 1994 is like a cover note. Everything else is attached to this. Foremost is the Agreement Establishing the WTO (or the WTO Agreement), which serves as an umbrella agreement. Annexed are the agreements on goods, services and intellectual property, dispute settlement, trade policy review mechanism and the plurilateral agreements. The schedules of commitments also form part of the Uruguay Round agreements.

  
Marrakesh Declaration of 15 April 1994      > browse text      > pdf
  

Final Act      > browse text      > MS Word      > pdf

 
Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization      > summary      > browse text      > MS Word      > pdf      > interpretation

 
Annex 1

Annex 1A    Multilateral Agreements on Trade in Goods      > browse text      > MS Word      > pdf

Annex 1B    General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS)     > summary      > browse text      > MS Word      > pdf      > interpretation

Annex 1C    Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)      > summary      > browse text      > MS Word      > pdf      > interpretation

 
Annex 2    Dispute Settlement Understanding      > summary      > browse text      > MS Word      > pdf      > interpretation

 
Annex 3    Trade Policy Review Mechanism      > browse text      > MS Word      > pdf      > interpretation

 
Annex 4    Plurilateral Trade Agreements

  • Annex 4(a)    Agreement on Trade in Civil Aircraft      > browse text      > pdf      > interpretation
  • Annex 4(b)    Agreement on Government Procurement
                                  GPA 1994      > summary      > browse text      > pdf      > interpretation
                                  Revised GPA      > browse text
  • Annex 4(c)    International Dairy Agreement      > browse text      > pdf      > interpretation
        Note: this Agreement was terminated end 1997. See document IDA/8
  • Annex 4(d)    International Bovine Meat Agreement      > browse text      > pdf      > interpretation
        Note: this Agreement was terminated end 1997. See document IMA/8

  

Uruguay Round ministerial decisions and declarations    back to top

Decisions adopted by the Trade Negotiations Committee on 15 December 1993 and 14 April 1994

  • Measures in favour of least-developed countries      > browse text      > MS Word      > pdf
  • Notification procedures      > browse text      > MS Word      > pdf
  • Agriculture: measures concerning the possible negative effects of the reform programme on least-developed and net food-importing developing countries      > browse text      > MS Word      > pdf
  • Textiles and clothing: notification of first integration under Article 2.6      > browse text      > MS Word      > pdf
  • Technical barriers to trade:
    Proposed Understanding on WTO-ISO Standards Information System
          > browse text      > MS Word      > pdf
    Review of the ISO/IEC Information Centre Publication     > browse text     > MS Word     > pdf
  • Customs valuation (GATT Article VII):
    Cases where customs administrations have reasons to doubt the truth or accuracy of the declared value
          > browse text      > MS Word      > pdf
    Minimum values and imports by sole agents, sole distributors and sole concessionaires     > browse text     > MS Word     > pdf
  • Services:
    Institutional arrangements for the GATS
          > browse text      > MS Word      > pdf
    Certain dispute settlement procedures for the GATS      > browse text      > MS Word      > pdf
    Trade in services and the environment      > browse text      > MS Word      > pdf
    Negotiations on movement of natural persons      > browse text      > MS Word      > pdf
    Financial services      > browse text      > MS Word      > pdf
    Negotiations on maritime transport services      > browse text      > MS Word      > pdf
    Negotiations on basic telecommunications      > browse text      > MS Word      > pdf
    Professional services     > browse text     > MS Word     > pdf
  • Government procurement: accession to the agreement     > browse text     > MS Word     > pdf
  • Dispute settlement: application and review of the Dispute Settlement Understanding     > browse text     > MS Word     > pdf
  • Agreement Establishing the WTO: acceptance of and accession to the agreement     > browse text     > MS Word     > pdf
  • Trade and environment     > browse text     > MS Word     > pdf
  • Organization and financial consequences flowing from implementation of the Agreement Establishing the WTO     > browse text     > MS Word     > pdf
  • Establishment of the Preparatory Committee for the WTO      > browse text      > MS Word      > pdf

  

Declarations adopted by the Trade Negotiations Committee on 15 December 1993

  • Contribution of the WTO to achieving greater coherence  in global economic policymaking     > browse text     > MS Word     > pdf
  • Relationship of the WTO with the International Monetary Fund      > browse text      > MS Word      > pdf

  

Decisions and declarations on anti-dumping (GATT Article VI) and subsidies and countervailing measures adopted by the Trade Negotiations Committee on 15 December 1993

  • Decision on anti-circumvention      > browse text      > MS Word      > pdf
  • Decision on review of Article 17.6 of the Anti-Dumping Agreement      > browse text      > MS Word      > pdf
  • Declaration on dispute settlement pursuant to the Anti-Dumping and Subsidies and Countervailing Measures agreements      > browse text      > MS Word      > pdf;

  

Understanding on Commitments in Financial Services
browse text      > MS Word (4 pages, 44KB)      > pdf (4 pages, 39KB)

  

GATT 1947    back to top
The original agreement dealing with trade in goods, now incorporated into GATT 1994 (see above) Explanations

  

Post-1994 goods agreement (Information Technology Agreement)
browse text      > MS Word (18 pages, 146KB)      > pdf (18  pages, 54KB)  


Post-1994 GATS protocols      back to top
These are additional agreements negotiated after the Uruguay Round and attached to the General Agreement on Trade in Services. There is no “First Protocol”. The related schedules of commitments can be ordered from the online bookshop.

  • Second protocol: financial services      > browse text      > MS Word (1 page, 14KB)      > pdf (1 page, 7KB)
  • Third protocol: movement of natural persons      > browse text      > MS Word (1 page, 31KB)      > pdf (1 page, 10KB)
  • Fourth protocol: basic telecommunications      > browse text      > MS Word (1 page, 33KB)      > pdf (1 page, 9KB)
  • Fifth protocol: financial services      > browse text      > MS Word (1 page, 15KB)      > pdf (1 page, 7KB)

 

Post-1994 accession protocols    back to top
These are the negotiated terms of membership for countries joining the WTO after it was created on 1 January 1995. They include each new member’s schedules of commitments.

 

Countries’ schedules of commitments    back to top
These schedules contain the commitments made by individual WTO members allowing specific foreign products or service-providers access to their markets. The schedules are integral parts of the agreements. In the print version these schedules comprise about 30,000 pages for all WTO Members.

Goods
For goods in general: binding commitments on tariffs. For agriculture: tariffs, combinations of tariffs and quotas, export subsidies and some types of domestic support.

Services
Binding commitments on how much access foreign service providers are allowed for specific sectors. Includes lists types of services where individual countries say they are not applying the “most-favoured-nation” principle of non-discrimination.

  • Services database. Find consolidated schedules of commitments and MFN exemptions by country, sector, and mode of supply. Data covers the period January 1995 to December 1999. Does not include data on current negotiations or on countries which joined the WTO since January 2000.
  • Protocols of accession for countries joining the WTO after 1995
  • Help on how to read a services schedule

 

Other major legal instruments    back to top

  • Preferential treatment for least-developed countries — Decision on Waiver, 1999
    browse text          > MS Word (2 pages, 35KB)          > pdf (2 pages, 9KB)

 

Legal text index    back to top

Examples: “accession”, “decision-making”, “least-developed country Members”.

Index:  A   B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X, Y, Z