of a memorandum on the foreign trade regime
applicant government presents a memorandum covering all
aspects of its trade and legal regime to the Working
Party. This memorandum forms the basis for detailed fact
finding by the Working Party. (Download
in MS Word document WT/ACC/1 (27 pages, 72 KB) outlines
the major headings to be examined).
Working Party meetings will see the examination of
questions posed by WTO Members based on the information
provided in the memorandum and the replies provided by
the applicant government.
examining all aspects of the existing trade and legal
regimes of the acceding government the Working Party goes
into the substantive part of the multilateral
negotiations involved in accessions. This determines the
terms and conditions of entry for the applicant
government. Terms and conditions include commitments to
observe WTO rules and disciplines upon accession and
transitional periods required to make any legislative or
structural changes where necessary to implement these
the same time, the applicant government engages in
bilateral negotiations with interested Working Party
members on concessions and commitments on market access
for goods and services. The results of these bilateral
negotiations are consolidated into a document which is
part of the final accession package.
final accession package back
accession package consists of three documents
which represent the results of both the multilateral and
bilateral phases outlined above. These are:
Report of the Working Party containing a summary
of proceedings and conditions of entry and a
Protocol of Accession.
of market access commitments in goods and
services agreed between the acceding government
and WTO Members.
of the accession package
both the Working Party's Draft Report and Protocol of
Accession and the market access commitments in goods and
services are completed to the satisfaction of members of
the Working Party, the accession package is
adopted at a final formal meeting of the Working Party.
documents are then presented to the General Council or
the Ministerial Conference for adoption. Once approved by
the General Council or the Ministerial Conference, the
accessions package is redistributed as a non-restricted
final documents will be issued:
Decision of the General Council
Protocol of Accession of the new entrant a
Protocol of Accession annexed to the Report which
states that the country accedes to the WTO
Agreement, defines the Schedules and outlines
final provisions for timing of acceptance of the
Protocol and full membership of the WTO.
a full member
approved by the General Council of Ministerial
Conference, the applicant is then free to sign the
Protocol of Accession stating that it accepts the
approved accessions package subject to
ratification in its national parliament. Normally three
months is given from signature of the Protocol of
Accession for this to take place.
days after the applicant government notifies the WTO
Secretariat that it has completed its ratification
procedures, the applicant government becomes a full
Member of the WTO.