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 scale.
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 these negotiations.
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.
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.