Having in mind the overall objective of
the Members to improve and strengthen the international trading system
based on GATT 1994;
Recognizing the need to clarify and reinforce
the disciplines of GATT 1994, and specifically those of its Article XIX (Emergency Action on Imports of
Particular Products), to re-establish multilateral control over safeguards
and eliminate measures that escape such control;
Recognizing the importance of structural
adjustment and the need to enhance rather than limit competition in
international markets; and
Recognizing further that, for these purposes,
a comprehensive agreement, applicable to all Members and based on the
basic principles of GATT 1994, is called for;
Hereby agree as follows:
This Agreement establishes rules for the application of safeguard
measures which shall be understood to mean those measures provided for in Article XIX of GATT 1994.
1. A Member
may apply a safeguard measure to a product only if that Member has
determined, pursuant to the provisions set out below, that such product is
being imported into its territory in such increased quantities, absolute
or relative to domestic production, and under such conditions as to cause
or threaten to cause serious injury to the domestic industry that produces
like or directly competitive products.
2. Safeguard measures
shall be applied to a product being imported irrespective of its source.
1. A Member may apply a
safeguard measure only following an investigation by the competent
authorities of that Member pursuant to procedures previously established
and made public in consonance with Article X
of GATT 1994. This investigation shall include reasonable public notice to
all interested parties and public hearings or other appropriate means in
which importers, exporters and other interested parties could present
evidence and their views, including the opportunity to respond to the
presentations of other parties and to submit their views, inter alia,
as to whether or not the application of a safeguard measure would be in
the public interest. The competent authorities shall publish a report
setting forth their findings and reasoned conclusions reached on all
pertinent issues of fact and law.
2. Any information which
is by nature confidential or which is provided on a confidential basis
shall, upon cause being shown, be treated as such by the competent
authorities. Such information shall not be disclosed without permission of
the party submitting it. Parties providing confidential information may be
requested to furnish non-confidential summaries thereof or, if such
parties indicate that such information cannot be summarized, the reasons
why a summary cannot be provided. However, if the competent authorities
find that a request for confidentiality is not warranted and if the party
concerned is either unwilling to make the information public or to
authorize its disclosure in generalized or summary form, the authorities
may disregard such information unless it can be demonstrated to their
satisfaction from appropriate sources that the information is correct.
Serious Injury or Threat Thereof
For the purposes of this Agreement:
“serious injury” shall be understood to mean a significant
overall impairment in the position of a domestic industry;
“threat of serious injury” shall be understood to mean serious
injury that is clearly imminent, in accordance with the provisions of
paragraph 2. A determination of the existence of a threat of serious
injury shall be based on facts and not merely on allegation, conjecture or
remote possibility; and
in determining injury or threat thereof, a “domestic industry”
shall be understood to mean the producers as a whole of the like or
directly competitive products operating within the territory of a Member,
or those whose collective output of the like or directly competitive
products constitutes a major proportion of the total domestic production
of those products.
In the investigation to determine whether increased imports have
caused or are threatening to cause serious injury to a domestic industry
under the terms of this Agreement, the competent authorities shall
evaluate all relevant factors of an objective and quantifiable nature
having a bearing on the situation of that industry, in particular, the
rate and amount of the increase in imports of the product concerned in
absolute and relative terms, the share of the domestic market taken by
increased imports, changes in the level of sales, production,
productivity, capacity utilization, profits and losses, and employment.
The determination referred to in subparagraph (a) shall not be made
unless this investigation demonstrates, on the basis of objective
evidence, the existence of the causal link between increased imports of
the product concerned and serious injury or threat thereof. When factors
other than increased imports are causing injury to the domestic industry
at the same time, such injury shall not be attributed to increased
The competent authorities shall publish promptly, in accordance
with the provisions of Article 3, a detailed
analysis of the case under investigation as well as a demonstration of the
relevance of the factors examined.
Application of Safeguard Measures
1. A Member shall apply
safeguard measures only to the extent necessary to prevent or remedy
serious injury and to facilitate adjustment. If a quantitative restriction
is used, such a measure shall not reduce the quantity of imports below the
level of a recent period which shall be the average of imports in the last
three representative years for which statistics are available, unless
clear justification is given that a different level is necessary to
prevent or remedy serious injury. Members should choose measures most
suitable for the achievement of these objectives.
In cases in which a quota is allocated among supplying countries,
the Member applying the restrictions may seek agreement with respect to
the allocation of shares in the quota with all other Members having a
substantial interest in supplying the product concerned. In cases in which
this method is not reasonably practicable, the Member concerned shall
allot to Members having a substantial interest in supplying the product
shares based upon the proportions, supplied by such Members during a
previous representative period, of the total quantity or value of imports
of the product, due account being taken of any special factors which may
have affected or may be affecting the trade in the product.
A Member may depart from the provisions in subparagraph (a)
provided that consultations under paragraph 3 of Article
12 are conducted under the auspices of the Committee on Safeguards
provided for in paragraph 1 of Article 13 and
that clear demonstration is provided to the Committee that (i)
imports from certain Members have increased in disproportionate percentage
in relation to the total increase of imports of the product concerned in
the representative period, (ii) the reasons for the departure from
the provisions in subparagraph (a) are justified, and (iii) the
conditions of such departure are equitable to all suppliers of the product
concerned. The duration of any such measure shall not be extended beyond
the initial period under paragraph 1 of Article 7.
The departure referred to above shall not be permitted in the case of
threat of serious injury.
Provisional Safeguard Measures
In critical circumstances where delay would cause damage which it
would be difficult to repair, a Member may take a provisional safeguard
measure pursuant to a preliminary determination that there is clear
evidence that increased imports have caused or are threatening to cause
serious injury. The duration of the provisional measure shall not exceed
200 days, during which period the pertinent requirements of Articles 2
through 7 and 12
shall be met. Such measures should take the form of tariff increases to be
promptly refunded if the subsequent investigation referred to in paragraph
2 of Article 4 does not determine that increased
imports have caused or threatened to cause serious injury to a domestic
industry. The duration of any such provisional measure shall be counted as
a part of the initial period and any extension referred to in paragraphs
1, 2 and 3 of Article 7.
Duration and Review of Safeguard Measures
1. A Member shall apply
safeguard measures only for such period of time as may be necessary to
prevent or remedy serious injury and to facilitate adjustment. The period
shall not exceed four years, unless it is extended under paragraph 2.
2. The period mentioned
in paragraph 1 may be extended provided that the competent authorities of
the importing Member have determined, in conformity with the procedures
set out in Articles 2, 3,
4 and 5, that the
safeguard measure continues to be necessary to prevent or remedy serious
injury and that there is evidence that the industry is adjusting, and
provided that the pertinent provisions of Articles 8
and 12 are observed.
3. The total period of
application of a safeguard measure including the period of application of
any provisional measure, the period of initial application and any
extension thereof, shall not exceed eight years.
4. In order to
facilitate adjustment in a situation where the expected duration of a
safeguard measure as notified under the provisions of paragraph 1 of Article
12 is over one year, the Member applying the measure shall
progressively liberalize it at regular intervals during the period of
application. If the duration of the measure exceeds three years, the
Member applying such a measure shall review the situation not later than
the mid‑term of the measure and, if appropriate, withdraw it or
increase the pace of liberalization. A measure extended under paragraph 2
shall not be more restrictive than it was at the end of the initial
period, and should continue to be liberalized.
5. No safeguard measure
shall be applied again to the import of a product which has been subject
to such a measure, taken after the date of entry into force of the WTO
Agreement, for a period of time equal to that during which such measure
had been previously applied, provided that the period of non-application
is at least two years.
6. Notwithstanding the
provisions of paragraph 5, a safeguard measure with a duration of 180 days
or less may be applied again to the import of a product if:
at least one year has elapsed since the date of introduction of a
safeguard measure on the import of that product; and
such a safeguard measure has not been applied on the same product
more than twice in the five-year period immediately preceding the date of
introduction of the measure.
Level of Concessions and Other Obligations
1. A Member proposing to
apply a safeguard measure or seeking an extension of a safeguard measure
shall endeavour to maintain a substantially equivalent level of
concessions and other obligations to that existing under GATT 1994 between
it and the exporting Members which would be affected by such a measure, in
accordance with the provisions of paragraph 3 of Article
12. To achieve this objective, the Members concerned may agree on any
adequate means of trade compensation for the adverse effects of the
measure on their trade.
2. If no agreement is
reached within 30 days in the consultations under paragraph 3 of Article
12, then the affected exporting Members shall be free, not later than
90 days after the measure is applied, to suspend, upon the expiration of
30 days from the day on which written notice of such suspension is
received by the Council for Trade in Goods, the application of
substantially equivalent concessions or other obligations under GATT 1994,
to the trade of the Member applying the safeguard measure, the suspension
of which the Council for Trade in Goods does not disapprove.
3. The right of
suspension referred to in paragraph 2 shall not be exercised for the first
three years that a safeguard measure is in effect, provided that the
safeguard measure has been taken as a result of an absolute increase in
imports and that such a measure conforms to the provisions of this
Developing Country Members
1. Safeguard measures
shall not be applied against a product originating in a developing country
Member as long as its share of imports of the product concerned in the
importing Member does not exceed 3 per cent, provided that developing
country Members with less than 3 per cent import share collectively
account for not more than 9 per cent of total imports of the product
2. A developing country
Member shall have the right to extend the period of application of a
safeguard measure for a period of up to two years beyond the maximum
period provided for in paragraph 3 of Article 7.
Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 5 of Article
7, a developing country Member shall have the right to apply a
safeguard measure again to the import of a product which has been subject
to such a measure, taken after the date of entry into force of the WTO
Agreement, after a period of time equal to half that during which such a
measure has been previously applied, provided that the period of
non-application is at least two years.
Members shall terminate all safeguard measures taken pursuant to Article
XIX of GATT 1947 that were in existence on the date of entry into
force of the WTO Agreement not later than eight years after the date on
which they were first applied or five years after the date of entry into
force of the WTO Agreement, whichever comes later.
Prohibition and Elimination of Certain Measures
A Member shall not take or seek any emergency action on imports of
particular products as set forth in Article
XIX of GATT 1994 unless such action
conforms with the provisions of that Article applied in accordance with
Furthermore, a Member shall not seek, take or maintain any
voluntary export restraints, orderly marketing arrangements or any other
similar measures on the export or the import side.,
These include actions taken by a single Member as well as actions under
agreements, arrangements and understandings entered into by two or more
Members. Any such measure in effect on the date of entry into force of the
WTO Agreement shall be brought into conformity with this Agreement or
phased out in accordance with paragraph 2.
This Agreement does not apply to measures sought, taken or
maintained by a Member pursuant to provisions of GATT 1994 other than Article
XIX, and Multilateral Trade
Agreements in Annex 1A other than this
Agreement, or pursuant to protocols and agreements or arrangements
concluded within the framework of GATT 1994.
2. The phasing out of
measures referred to in paragraph 1(b) shall be carried out according to
timetables to be presented to the Committee on Safeguards by the Members
concerned not later than 180 days after the date of entry into force of
the WTO Agreement. These timetables shall provide for all measures
referred to in paragraph 1 to be phased out or brought into conformity
with this Agreement within a period not exceeding four years after the
date of entry into force of the WTO Agreement, subject to not more than
one specific measure per importing Member,
the duration of which shall not extend beyond 31 December 1999. Any such
exception must be mutually agreed between the Members directly concerned
and notified to the Committee on Safeguards for its review and acceptance
within 90 days of the entry into force of the WTO Agreement. The Annex
to this Agreement indicates a measure which has been agreed as falling
under this exception.
3. Members shall not
encourage or support the adoption or maintenance by public and private
enterprises of non-governmental measures equivalent to those referred to
in paragraph 1.
Notification and Consultation
1. A Member shall
immediately notify the Committee on Safeguards upon:
initiating an investigatory process relating to serious injury or
threat thereof and the reasons for it;
making a finding of serious injury or threat thereof caused by
increased imports; and
taking a decision to apply or extend a safeguard measure.
2. In making the
notifications referred to in paragraphs 1(b) and 1(c), the Member
proposing to apply or extend a safeguard measure shall provide the
Committee on Safeguards with all pertinent information, which shall
include evidence of serious injury or threat thereof caused by increased
imports, precise description of the product involved and the proposed
measure, proposed date of introduction, expected duration and timetable
for progressive liberalization. In the case of an extension of a measure,
evidence that the industry concerned is adjusting shall also be provided.
The Council for Trade in Goods or the Committee on Safeguards may request
such additional information as they may consider necessary from the Member
proposing to apply or extend the measure.
3. A Member proposing to
apply or extend a safeguard measure shall provide adequate opportunity for
prior consultations with those Members having a substantial interest as
exporters of the product concerned, with a view to, inter alia,
reviewing the information provided under paragraph 2, exchanging views on
the measure and reaching an understanding on ways to achieve the objective
set out in paragraph 1 of Article 8.
4. A Member shall make a
notification to the Committee on Safeguards before taking a provisional
safeguard measure referred to in Article 6.
Consultations shall be initiated immediately after the measure is taken.
5. The results of the
consultations referred to in this Article, as well as the results of
mid‑term reviews referred to in paragraph 4 of Article
7, any form of compensation referred to in paragraph 1 of Article
8, and proposed suspensions of concessions and other obligations
referred to in paragraph 2 of Article 8, shall be notified immediately to
the Council for Trade in Goods by the Members concerned.
6. Members shall notify
promptly the Committee on Safeguards of their laws, regulations and
administrative procedures relating to safeguard measures as well as any
modifications made to them.
7. Members maintaining
measures described in Article 10 and paragraph
1 of Article 11 which exist on the date of
entry into force of the WTO Agreement shall notify such measures to the
Committee on Safeguards not later than 60 days after the date of entry
into force of the WTO Agreement.
8. Any Member may notify
the Committee on Safeguards of all laws, regulations, administrative
procedures and any measures or actions dealt with in this Agreement that
have not been notified by other Members that are required by this
Agreement to make such notifications.
9. Any Member may notify
the Committee on Safeguards of any non‑governmental measures
referred to in paragraph 3 of Article 11.
10. All notifications to the Council
for Trade in Goods referred to in this Agreement shall normally be made
through the Committee on Safeguards.
11. The provisions on notification in
this Agreement shall not require any Member to disclose confidential
information the disclosure of which would impede law enforcement or
otherwise be contrary to the public interest or would prejudice the
legitimate commercial interests of particular enterprises, public or
A Committee on Safeguards is hereby established, under the
authority of the Council for Trade in Goods, which shall be open to the
participation of any Member indicating its wish to serve on it. The
Committee will have the following functions:
to monitor, and report annually to the Council for Trade in Goods
on, the general implementation of this Agreement and make recommendations
towards its improvement;
to find, upon request of an affected Member, whether or not the
procedural requirements of this Agreement have been complied with in
connection with a safeguard measure, and report its findings to the
Council for Trade in Goods;
to assist Members, if they so request, in their consultations under
the provisions of this Agreement;
to review, at the request of the Member taking a safeguard measure,
whether proposals to suspend concessions or other obligations are
“substantially equivalent”, and report as appropriate to the Council
for Trade in Goods;
to receive and review all notifications provided for in this
Agreement and report as appropriate to the Council for Trade in Goods; and
to perform any other function connected with this Agreement that
the Council for Trade in Goods may determine.
2. To assist the
Committee in carrying out its surveillance function, the Secretariat shall
prepare annually a factual report on the operation of this Agreement based
on notifications and other reliable information available to it.
The provisions of Articles XXII and
XXIII of GATT 1994 as elaborated and
applied by the Dispute Settlement Understanding
shall apply to consultations and the settlement of disputes arising under
EXCEPTION REFERRED TO IN PARAGRAPH 2 OF ARTICLE
A customs union may apply a safeguard measure as a single unit
or on behalf of a member State. When a customs union applies a
safeguard measure as a single unit, all the requirements for the
determination of serious injury or threat thereof under this Agreement
shall be based on the conditions existing in the customs union as a
whole. When a safeguard measure is applied on behalf of a member
State, all the requirements for the determination of serious injury or
threat thereof shall be based on the conditions existing in that
member State and the measure shall be limited to that member State.
Nothing in this Agreement prejudges the interpretation of the
relationship between Article XIX and
paragraph 8 of Article XXIV of GATT
An import quota applied as a safeguard measure in conformity
with the relevant provisions of GATT 1994 and this Agreement may, by
mutual agreement, be administered by the exporting Member.
Examples of similar measures include export moderation,
export-price or import-price monitoring systems, export or import
surveillance, compulsory import cartels and discretionary export or
import licensing schemes, any of which afford protection.
The only such exception to which the European Communities is
entitled is indicated in the Annex to this Agreement.