Wto Safeguard Agreement Pdf

Article 2 lays down the conditions (i.e. material injury or threat of injury caused by increased imports) under which safeguard measures may be applied. It also includes the requirement that such measures be applied on the basis of the most-favoured-nation clause. New protective measures may be applied only after an investigation by the competent authorities in accordance with previously published procedures. Although the agreement does not contain detailed procedural rules, it requires appropriate public disclosure of the investigation and that interested parties (importers, exporters, producers, etc.) Have the opportunity to express their point of view and respond to the views of others. Among the issues on which advice is required is whether or not a protective measure would be in the public interest. Competent authorities are required to publish a report setting out and explaining their findings on all relevant issues, including evidence of the relevance of the factors examined. The agreement also contains specific rules for the treatment of confidential information in the context of an investigation. The agreement consists of 14 articles and an annex. In general, it consists of four main elements: (1) general provisions (Articles 1 and 2); (2) rules for the application of new safeguard measures by Members (i.e. those applied after the entry into force of the WTO Agreement (Articles 3 to 9)); (3) The rules on existing measures applied before the entry into force of the WTO (Articles 10 and 11); and (4) surveillance and multilateral institutions (Articles 12-14). The Safeguard Committee monitors the general implementation of the Agreement and reports annually to the Goods Council.

A Member affected by a safeguard measure may request the Committee to determine whether the measure complies with the rules of procedure of the agreements. At the request of Members, the Committee may support consultations or consider proposals for retaliation. It monitors the expiry of notified “grey area” measures and verifies all protection notifications. The current president is. The WTO Safeguard Agreement broke new ground by banning grey area measures and setting time limits (sunset clause) for all safeguard measures. Members are required to inform the Committee of the initiation of investigations into the existence of serious harm or threat and the reasons for it; the finding of material injury or threat arising from an increase in imports; and decisions on the application or extension of protective measures. Those notifications shall contain the relevant information on which the decisions are based. The main guiding principles of the Agreement with regard to safeguard measures are that such measures must be temporary; whereas they may be imported only if it is established that the imports are causing or threatening to cause material injury to a competing domestic industry; they are based on non-selectivity (i.e., most-favoured-nation or most-favoured-nation treatment); that they be progressively liberalized as long as they are in force and that the Member who imposes them must pay compensation to the members whose business is affected. As a general rule, the initial application deadline plus any extension may not exceed eight years.

In addition, protective measures that have been in force for more than a year must be progressively liberalised at regular intervals during the period of application. If a measure is extended beyond the initial period of application, it is no more restrictive during that period than at the end of the initial period and should be further liberalised. The SG Agreement was negotiated largely because the GATT parties had increasingly applied various so-called grey area measures (voluntary bilateral export restrictions, orderly marketing agreements and similar measures) to limit imports of certain products. These measures were not imposed under Article XIX and were therefore not subject to GATT multilateral discipline and the legality of these measures under GATT was questionable. The agreement now clearly prohibits such measures and contains specific provisions to eliminate those that were in force at the time of the entry into force of the WTO Agreement. Basic Introduction to the Agreement on Safeguards Links to the “Safeguards” section of the WTO Guide “Understanding the WTO” The Committee`s role is generally to monitor the implementation and enforcement of the Agreement (and report to the Council for Trade in Goods), to review Member States` notifications, and to determine whether Members are complying with the Agreement`s procedural rules for the application of safeguard measures — support for consultations and consideration of proposed retaliatory measures. In its own words, the SG Agreement, which expressly applies equally to all Members, aims to (1) clarify and strengthen GATT disciplines, in particular those of Article XIX; (2) to reintroduce multilateral control over safeguard measures and to eliminate measures that are beyond that control; and (3) promote structural adjustment in industries affected by increased imports, thereby enhancing competition in international markets. A WTO Member may take safeguard measures (i.e., temporarily restrict imports of a product) to protect a particular domestic industry from an increase in imports of products that cause or threaten to cause serious injury to the industry. The repeated application of safety precautions in relation to a particular product is limited by the agreement. Normally, a safeguard clause cannot be reapplied to a product until a period equal to the duration of the original safeguard clause has expired, as long as the period of non-application is at least two years. The maximum duration of a safeguard measure is four years, unless it is extended in accordance with the provisions of the Agreement.

In particular, a measure may be extended only if it is considered necessary to maintain it in order to prevent or remedy serious injury and only if there is evidence that the industry is making adjustments. However, where a new safeguard measure has a duration of 180 days or less, it may be applied as long as one year has elapsed since the introduction of the original safeguard measure and no more than two safeguard measures have been applied to the product in the five years immediately preceding the introduction of the new safeguard measure. Members of developing countries shall enjoy special and differential treatment with regard to the protective measures of other Members and with regard to the application of their own protective measures. A safeguard measure shall not apply to imports of small quantities from developing countries, i.e. where the products of a single developing country do not represent more than 3 % of the total imports concerned, provided that the products originating in developing countries with a low import share do not together exceed 9 % of imports. The Agreement on Safeguard Measures (SG Agreement) contains the rules for the application of safeguard measures under Article XIX of the GATT 1994. Safeguard measures are defined as emergency measures concerning the increase in imports of certain products where such imports have caused or are threatening to cause material injury to the domestic industry of the importing Member. Multilateral monitoring of the use of safeguard measures is carried out through notification obligations and the establishment of a Committee on Safeguards, which is responsible, inter alia, for examining notifications of safeguard clauses.

Article 1 provides that the Agreement on Selling, General and Administrative Expenses is the instrument by which the measures provided for in Article XIX of the GATT 1994 may be applied. This means that any measure for which the scope of Article XIX (which allows for the suspension of GATT concessions and obligations in established emergency circumstances) is invoked must be taken in accordance with the provisions of the SG Agreement. The Agreement expressly does not apply to measures taken under other provisions of GATT 1994, other multilateral trade agreements referred to in Annex 1A or protocols, agreements or arrangements concluded under GATT 1994. (Article 11(1)(c)) In critical circumstances, defined as circumstances where a delay would cause damage that would be difficult to repair, interim measures may be imposed. These measures may only take the form of tariff increases and may be maintained for a maximum period of 200 days. In addition, the period of validity of a provisional measure must be included in the overall duration of the application of a safeguard measure. Members are required to provide Members with an appropriate opportunity to consult with Members that have significant interests as exporters of the product before applying or extending a safeguard measure. The objectives of these consultations include the examination of factual information, the exchange of views on the proposed measures and the conclusion of an agreement on the maintenance of a substantially equivalent level of concessions and commitments. When applying a safeguard measure, the Member shall maintain a substantially equivalent level of concessions and other obligations towards the executive members concerned. To this end, all reasonable means of commercial compensation may be agreed with the members concerned. In the absence of such an agreement, the executive members concerned may individually suspend concessions and other substantially equivalent obligations.

The latter right may not be exercised during the first three years of application of a safeguard measure if the measure is taken on the basis of an absolute increase in imports and is otherwise in conformity with the provisions of the Agreement. When applying safeguard measures, members of developing countries may extend the application of a safeguard measure for a further two years beyond what is normally permitted. In addition, the rules on the reapplication of product-specific safeguard measures will be relaxed for developing country members. .

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