AGRICULTURE: WORKSHOP, GENEVA, 18-21 SEPTEMBER 2012

Workshop on Agriculture Notifications

The last Workshop on Agriculture Notifications in English was organized in Geneva, Switzerland, from 18 to 21 September 2012.  Participating capital-based government officials also attended the 67th regular session of the Committee on Agriculture (CoA) held on 20 September 2012.  The Workshop was a technical assistance and training activity and an opportunity to exchange information and best practices.

Objectives

The objective of the Workshop was to enable Members to fulfil their notification obligations in a timely manner and in line with the transparency requirements contained in the Agreement on Agriculture. The Workshop reviewed the existing notification requirements and formats (G/AG/2 and Add.1) and provided a platform to discuss specific technical issues that Members may face when preparing their agriculture notifications and/or analysing notifications submitted by other WTO Members.

By the end of the Workshop, participants should have:

  • become familiar with the specific notification requirements and formats in the areas of market access (MA), domestic support (DS), export subsidies (ES), export prohibitions and restrictions (ER), and the follow-up to the Marrakesh Net Food-Importing Developing Countries (NFIDC) Decision;
  • improved their knowledge of existing tools that might be useful in preparing and analysing notifications;
  • gained a better understanding of the purpose and procedures of the Review Process under the CoA;
  • learnt from other Members' experiences about the institutional capacity building necessary to prepare and analyse notifications and to actively participate in the Review Process;
  • identified specific actions they could take to ensure that relevant notification obligations are fulfilled in a timely manner.

 

Preparatory work

In preparing for the Workshop, participants were requested to:

  • get acquainted with the status of compliance with the notification obligations assumed by their respective governments under the CoA (G/AG/GEN/86/Rev.11);
  • identify any challenges in the preparation/ submission/ analysis of notifications; and
  • where relevant, come prepared with technical questions.

To assist in these preparations and to encourage active involvement in the Workshop, participants were also requested to consider the following questions:

  • What are the notification obligations relevant to your country/ delegation?
  • What is the status of compliance with your obligations?
  • Which domestic stakeholders (i.e. departments/ ministries/ agencies) are involved in the data collection, preparation/approval/submission of your notifications, analysis of notifications of your trading partners, preparation of questions/answers for the Review Process?
  • What domestic system/communication channels are in place through which notification requirements and deadlines can be circulated to all stakeholders?
  • Have you encountered any problems in preparing/ submitting/ analysing notifications and/or in participating in the Review Process?  If yes, please identify those problems.
  • Have you been able to overcome those problems and if so, what solutions have been implemented?
  • Is there a need for any technical/institutional capacity building, technical assistance and training and if so, what would be needed to develop/preserve/transfer the necessary knowhow in the area of agriculture notifications?
  • What specific actions would it take to ensure that your notification obligations are fulfilled in a timely manner?

 

Notifications Clinic

The Notifications Clinic aimed to tackle problems that Members face in preparing/ submitting/ analysing notifications, and to identify ways to enhance the technical/ institutional capacity and know-how related to notifications and the participation in the Review Process.

The Notifications Clinic aimed to be a useful means and starting point for officials concerned to consider any mentoring or technical assistance, either from the WTO Secretariat or from other Members with knowledge and experience in the identified areas.

As part of the follow-up, the Agriculture and Commodities Division staff remain at the disposal of delegations for consultations and technical assistance, as appropriate.  Any queries related to the preparation of notifications can also be sent using to the dedicated e-mail address:  agnotifenquiries@wto.org.

 

Programme

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

8:00-8:30

Registration

8:30–9:00

Opening Session

  • Ms Emalene Marcus-Burnett, Chairperson, Committee on Agriculture (regular session)
  • Mr Evan Rogerson, Director, Agriculture and Commodities Division (AGCD)
  • Mr Felipe Vargas-Maza, ITTC Logistics Unit Head, Institute for Training and Technical Co-operation (ITTC)

9:00–9:30

Quiz & Overview of Notification Requirements

Introduction of the notification requirements and formats adopted by the Committee in 1995 based on documents G/AG/2 and G/AG/2/Add.1.

  • Ms Majda Petschen, Counsellor, AGCD; Secretary, Committee on Agriculture (regular session)
    > Presentation

9:30-12:00

Export Subsidies

  • Ms Majda Petschen, Counsellor, AGCD; Secretary, Committee on Agriculture (regular session)
    > Presentation & Group exercises

12:00-12:30

Export Restrictions

  • Ms Diana Montero Melis, Economic Affairs Officer, AGCD
    > Presentation

12:30-13:00

Ministerial Decision on NFIDCs

  • Mr Diwakar Dixit, Economic Affairs Officer, AGCD
    > Presentation

14:15-17:30

Market Access:  Tariff quota administration & Tariff quota fill

  • Ms Majda Petschen, Counsellor, AGCD; Secretary, Committee on Agriculture (regular session)
    > Presentation
  • Ms Diana Montero Melis, Economic Affairs Officer, AGCD
    > Presentation & Group exercises

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

8:30–12:30

Domestic Support

  • Mr Diwakar Dixit, Economic Affairs Officer, AGCD
    > Presentation & Group exercises

12:30-13:00

Domestic Support (new or modified exempt measures)

14:15-17:00

Market Access:  Special Agricultural Safeguard (SSG)

  • Ms Diana Montero Melis, Economic Affairs Officer, AGCD
    > Presentation & Group exercises

17:00-17:30

Members' Transparency Toolkit

  • Ms Wenjing Wu, Database Assistant, AGCD
    > link

Thursday, 20 September 2012

10:00-17:30

Committee on Agriculture (67th regular session)

Friday, 21 September 2012

8:30-13:00

Notifications Clinic:  Addressing unfulfilled notification obligations

Individual meetings with AGCD staff to discuss the challenges faced in preparing, submitting and reviewing agriculture notifications to the WTO

14:30-15:00

Quiz Review

15:00-16:30

Closing Session:  Identifying ways to enhance technical assistance and participation in the Review Process

  • Ms Emalene Marcus-Burnett, Chairperson, Committee on Agriculture (regular session)
  • All participants and accompanying Geneva-based delegates
  • AGCD staff

16:45-17:15

Workshop Evaluation & Certificates' Awards

 

list of participants in pdf format