[See also the Decision on Notification of First Integration Under Article 2.6 of The Agreement on Textiles And Clothing]

 

Members,

            Recalling that Ministers agreed at Punta del Este that “negotiations in the area of textiles and clothing shall aim to formulate modalities that would permit the eventual integration of this sector into GATT on the basis of strengthened GATT rules and disciplines, thereby also contributing to the objective of further liberalization of trade”;

            Recalling also that in the April 1989 Decision of the Trade Negotiations Committee it was agreed that the process of integration should commence following the conclusion of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations and should be progressive in character;

            Recalling further that it was agreed that special treatment should be accorded to the least-developed country Members;

             Hereby agree as follows:

   

Article 1

1.         This Agreement sets out provisions to be applied by Members during a transition period for the integration of the textiles and clothing sector into GATT 1994.

2.            Members agree to use the provisions of paragraph 18 of Article 2 and paragraph 6(b) of Article 6 in such a way as to permit meaningful increases in access possibilities for small suppliers and the development of commercially significant trading opportunities for new entrants in the field of textiles and clothing trade.[1]

3.            Members shall have due regard to the situation of those Members which have not accepted the Protocols extending the Arrangement Regarding International Trade in Textiles (referred to in this Agreement as the “MFA”) since 1986 and, to the extent possible, shall afford them special treatment in applying the provisions of this Agreement.

4.            Members agree that the particular interests of the cotton-producing exporting Members should, in consultation with them, be reflected in the implementation of the provisions of this Agreement.

5.         In order to facilitate the integration of the textiles and clothing sector into GATT 1994, Members should allow for continuous autonomous industrial adjustment and increased competition in their markets.

6.         Unless otherwise provided in this Agreement, its provisions shall not affect the rights and obligations of Members under the provisions of the WTO Agreement and the Multilateral Trade Agreements.

7.         The textile and clothing products to which this Agreement applies are set out in the Annex.

 

Article 2

1.         All quantitative restrictions within bilateral agreements maintained under Article 4 or notified under Article 7 or 8 of the MFA in force on the day before the entry into force of the WTO Agreement shall, within 60 days following such entry into force, be notified in detail, including the restraint levels, growth rates and flexibility provisions, by the Members maintaining such restrictions to the Textiles Monitoring Body provided for in Article 8 (referred to in this Agreement as the “TMB”). Members agree that as of the date of entry into force of the WTO Agreement, all such restrictions maintained between GATT 1947 contracting parties, and in place on the day before such entry into force, shall be governed by the provisions of this Agreement.

2.         The TMB shall circulate these notifications to all Members for their information. It is open to any Member to bring to the attention of the TMB, within 60 days of the circulation of the notifications, any observations it deems appropriate with regard to such notifications. Such observations shall be circulated to the other Members for their information. The TMB may make recommendations, as appropriate, to the Members concerned.

3.         When the 12-month period of restrictions to be notified under paragraph 1 does not coincide with the 12-month period immediately preceding the date of entry into force of the WTO Agreement, the Members concerned should mutually agree on arrangements to bring the period of restrictions into line with the agreement year[2], and to establish notional base levels of such restrictions in order to implement the provisions of this Article. Concerned Members agree to enter into consultations promptly upon request with a view to reaching such mutual agreement. Any such arrangements shall take into account, inter alia, seasonal patterns of shipments in recent years. The results of these consultations shall be notified to the TMB, which shall make such recommendations as it deems appropriate to the Members concerned.

4.         The restrictions notified under paragraph 1 shall be deemed to constitute the totality of such restrictions applied by the respective Members on the day before the entry into force of the WTO Agreement. No new restrictions in terms of products or Members shall be introduced except under the provisions of this Agreement or relevant GATT 1994 provisions.[3] Restrictions not notified within 60 days of the date of entry into force of the WTO Agreement shall be terminated forthwith.

5.         Any unilateral measure taken under Article 3 of the MFA prior to the date of entry into force of the WTO Agreement may remain in effect for the duration specified therein, but not exceeding 12 months, if it has been reviewed by the Textiles Surveillance Body (referred to in this Agreement as the “TSB”) established under the MFA. Should the TSB not have had the opportunity to review any such unilateral measure, it shall be reviewed by the TMB in accordance with the rules and procedures governing Article 3 measures under the MFA. Any measure applied under an MFA Article 4 agreement prior to the date of entry into force of the WTO Agreement that is the subject of a dispute which the TSB has not had the opportunity to review shall also be reviewed by the TMB in accordance with the MFA rules and procedures applicable for such a review.

6.         On the date of entry into force of the WTO Agreement, each Member shall integrate into GATT 1994 products which accounted for not less than 16 per cent of the total volume of the Member’s 1990 imports of the products in the Annex, in terms of HS lines or categories. The products to be integrated shall encompass products from each of the following four groups: tops and yarns, fabrics, made-up textile products, and clothing.

7.         Full details of the actions to be taken pursuant to paragraph 6 shall be notified by the Members concerned according to the following:

            (a)        Members maintaining restrictions falling under paragraph 1 undertake, notwithstanding the date of entry into force of the WTO Agreement, to notify such details to the GATT Secretariat not later than the date determined by the Ministerial Decision of 15 April 1994. The GATT Secretariat shall promptly circulate these notifications to the other participants for information. These notifications will be made available to the TMB, when established, for the purposes of paragraph 21;

            (b)        Members which have, pursuant to paragraph 1 of Article 6, retained the right to use the provisions of Article 6, shall notify such details to the TMB not later than 60 days following the date of entry into force of the WTO Agreement, or, in the case of those Members covered by paragraph 3 of Article 1, not later than at the end of the 12th month that the WTO Agreement is in effect. The TMB shall circulate these notifications to the other Members for information and review them as provided in paragraph 21.

8.         The remaining products, i.e. the products not integrated into GATT 1994 under paragraph 6, shall be integrated, in terms of HS lines or categories, in three stages, as follows:

            (a)        on the first day of the 37th month that the WTO Agreement is in effect, products which accounted for not less than 17 per cent of the total volume of the Member’s 1990 imports of the products in the Annex. The products to be integrated by the Members shall encompass products from each of the following four groups: tops and yarns, fabrics, made-up textile products, and clothing;

            (b)        on the first day of the 85th month that the WTO Agreement is in effect, products which accounted for not less than 18 per cent of the total volume of the Member’s 1990 imports of the products in the Annex. The products to be integrated by the Members shall encompass products from each of the following four groups: tops and yarns, fabrics, made-up textile products, and clothing;

            (c)        on the first day of the 121st month that the WTO Agreement is in effect, the textiles and clothing sector shall stand integrated into GATT 1994, all restrictions under this Agreement having been eliminated.

9.             Members which have notified, pursuant to paragraph 1 of Article 6, their intention not to retain the right to use the provisions of Article 6 shall, for the purposes of this Agreement, be deemed to have integrated their textiles and clothing products into GATT 1994. Such Members shall, therefore, be exempted from complying with the provisions of paragraphs 6 to 8 and 11.

10.       Nothing in this Agreement shall prevent a Member which has submitted an integration programme pursuant to paragraph 6 or 8 from integrating products into GATT 1994 earlier than provided for in such a programme. However, any such integration of products shall take effect at the beginning of an agreement year, and details shall be notified to the TMB at least three months prior thereto for circulation to all Members.

11.       The respective programmes of integration, in pursuance of paragraph 8, shall be notified in detail to the TMB at least 12 months before their coming into effect, and circulated by the TMB to all Members.

12.       The base levels of the restrictions on the remaining products, mentioned in paragraph 8, shall be the restraint levels referred to in paragraph 1.

13.       During Stage 1 of this Agreement (from the date of entry into force of the WTO Agreement to the 36th month that it is in effect, inclusive) the level of each restriction under MFA bilateral agreements in force for the 12-month period prior to the date of entry into force of the WTO Agreement shall be increased annually by not less than the growth rate established for the respective restrictions, increased by 16 per cent.

14.       Except where the Council for Trade in Goods or the Dispute Settlement Body decides otherwise under paragraph 12 of Article 8, the level of each remaining restriction shall be increased annually during subsequent stages of this Agreement by not less than the following:

            (a)        for Stage 2 (from the 37th to the 84th month that the WTO Agreement is in effect, inclusive), the growth rate for the respective restrictions during Stage 1, increased by 25 per cent;

            (b)        for Stage 3 (from the 85th to the 120th month that the WTO Agreement is in effect, inclusive), the growth rate for the respective restrictions during Stage 2, increased by 27 per cent.

15.       Nothing in this Agreement shall prevent a Member from eliminating any restriction maintained pursuant to this Article, effective at the beginning of any agreement year during the transition period, provided the exporting Member concerned and the TMB are notified at least three months prior to the elimination coming into effect. The period for prior notification may be shortened to 30 days with the agreement of the restrained Member. The TMB shall circulate such notifications to all Members. In considering the elimination of restrictions as envisaged in this paragraph, the Members concerned shall take into account the treatment of similar exports from other Members.

16.            Flexibility provisions, i.e. swing, carryover and carry forward, applicable to all restrictions maintained pursuant to this Article, shall be the same as those provided for in MFA bilateral agreements for the 12-month period prior to the entry into force of the WTO Agreement. No quantitative limits shall be placed or maintained on the combined use of swing, carryover and carry forward.

17.            Administrative arrangements, as deemed necessary in relation to the implementation of any provision of this Article, shall be a matter for agreement between the Members concerned. Any such arrangements shall be notified to the TMB.

18.       As regards those Members whose exports are subject to restrictions on the day before the entry into force of the WTO Agreement and whose restrictions represent 1.2 per cent or less of the total volume of the restrictions applied by an importing Member as of 31 December 1991 and notified under this Article, meaningful improvement in access for their exports shall be provided, at the entry into force of the WTO Agreement and for the duration of this Agreement, through advancement by one stage of the growth rates set out in paragraphs 13 and 14, or through at least equivalent changes as may be mutually agreed with respect to a different mix of base levels, growth and flexibility provisions. Such improvements shall be notified to the TMB.

19.       In any case, during the duration of this Agreement, in which a safeguard measure is initiated by a Member under Article XIX of GATT 1994 in respect of a particular product during a period of one year immediately following the integration of that product into GATT 1994 in accordance with the provisions of this Article, the provisions of Article XIX, as interpreted by the Agreement on Safeguards, will apply, save as set out in paragraph 20.

20.       Where such a measure is applied using non-tariff means, the importing Member concerned shall apply the measure in a manner as set forth in paragraph 2(d) of Article XIII of GATT 1994 at the request of any exporting Member whose exports of such products were subject to restrictions under this Agreement at any time in the one-year period immediately prior to the initiation of the safeguard measure. The exporting Member concerned shall administer such a measure. The applicable level shall not reduce the relevant exports below the level of a recent representative period, which shall normally be the average of exports from the Member concerned in the last three representative years for which statistics are available. Furthermore, when the safeguard measure is applied for more than one year, the applicable level shall be progressively liberalized at regular intervals during the period of application. In such cases the exporting Member concerned shall not exercise the right of suspending substantially equivalent concessions or other obligations under paragraph 3(a) of Article XIX of GATT 1994.

21.       The TMB shall keep under review the implementation of this Article. It shall, at the request of any Member, review any particular matter with reference to the implementation of the provisions of this Article. It shall make appropriate recommendations or findings within 30 days to the Member or Members concerned, after inviting the participation of such Members.

 

Article 3

1.         Within 60 days following the date of entry into force of the WTO Agreement, Members maintaining restrictions[4] on textile and clothing products (other than restrictions maintained under the MFA and covered by the provisions of Article 2), whether consistent with GATT 1994 or not, shall (a) notify them in detail to the TMB, or (b) provide to the TMB notifications with respect to them which have been submitted to any other WTO body. The notifications should, wherever applicable, provide information with respect to any GATT 1994 justification for the restrictions, including GATT 1994 provisions on which they are based.

2.            Members maintaining restrictions falling under paragraph 1, except those justified under a GATT 1994 provision, shall either:

            (a)        bring them into conformity with GATT 1994 within one year following the entry into force of the WTO Agreement, and notify this action to the TMB for its information; or

            (b)        phase them out progressively according to a programme to be presented to the TMB by the Member maintaining the restrictions not later than six months after the date of entry into force of the WTO Agreement. This programme shall provide for all restrictions to be phased out within a period not exceeding the duration of this Agreement. The TMB may make recommendations to the Member concerned with respect to such a programme.

3.         During the duration of this Agreement, Members shall provide to the TMB, for its information, notifications submitted to any other WTO bodies with respect to any new restrictions or changes in existing restrictions on textile and clothing products, taken under any GATT 1994 provision, within 60 days of their coming into effect.

4.         It shall be open to any Member to make reverse notifications to the TMB, for its information, in regard to the GATT 1994 justification, or in regard to any restrictions that may not have been notified under the provisions of this Article. Actions with respect to such notifications may be pursued by any Member under relevant GATT 1994 provisions or procedures in the appropriate WTO body.

5.         The TMB shall circulate the notifications made pursuant to this Article to all Members for their information.

 

Article 4

1.            Restrictions referred to in Article 2, and those applied under Article 6, shall be administered by the exporting Members. Importing Members shall not be obliged to accept shipments in excess of the restrictions notified under Article 2, or of restrictions applied pursuant to Article 6.

2.            Members agree that the introduction of changes, such as changes in practices, rules, procedures and categorization of textile and clothing products, including those changes relating to the Harmonized System, in the implementation or administration of those restrictions notified or applied under this Agreement should not: upset the balance of rights and obligations between the Members concerned under this Agreement; adversely affect the access available to a Member; impede the full utilization of such access; or disrupt trade under this Agreement.

3.         If a product which constitutes only part of a restriction is notified for integration pursuant to the provisions of Article 2, Members agree that any change in the level of that restriction shall not upset the balance of rights and obligations between the Members concerned under this Agreement.

4.         When changes mentioned in paragraphs 2 and 3 are necessary, however, Members agree that the Member initiating such changes shall inform and, wherever possible, initiate consultations with the affected Member or Members prior to the implementation of such changes, with a view to reaching a mutually acceptable solution regarding appropriate and equitable adjustment. Members further agree that where consultation prior to implementation is not feasible, the Member initiating such changes will, at the request of the affected Member, consult, within 60 days if possible, with the Members concerned with a view to reaching a mutually satisfactory solution regarding appropriate and equitable adjustments. If a mutually satisfactory solution is not reached, any Member involved may refer the matter to the TMB for recommendations as provided in Article 8. Should the TSB not have had the opportunity to review a dispute concerning such changes introduced prior to the entry into force of the WTO Agreement, it shall be reviewed by the TMB in accordance with the rules and procedures of the MFA applicable for such a review.

Article 5

1.            Members agree that circumvention by transshipment, re-routing, false declaration concerning country or place of origin, and falsification of official documents, frustrates the implementation of this Agreement to integrate the textiles and clothing sector into GATT 1994. Accordingly, Members should establish the necessary legal provisions and/or administrative procedures to address and take action against such circumvention. Members further agree that, consistent with their domestic laws and procedures, they will cooperate fully to address problems arising from circumvention.

2.         Should any Member believe that this Agreement is being circumvented by transshipment, re-routing, false declaration concerning country or place of origin, or falsification of official documents, and that no, or inadequate, measures are being applied to address and/or to take action against such circumvention, that Member should consult with the Member or Members concerned with a view to seeking a mutually satisfactory solution. Such consultations should be held promptly, and within 30 days when possible. If a mutually satisfactory solution is not reached, the matter may be referred by any Member involved to the TMB for recommendations.

3.            Members agree to take necessary action, consistent with their domestic laws and procedures, to prevent, to investigate and, where appropriate, to take legal and/or administrative action against circumvention practices within their territory. Members agree to cooperate fully, consistent with their domestic laws and procedures, in instances of circumvention or alleged circumvention of this Agreement, to establish the relevant facts in the places of import, export and, where applicable, transshipment. It is agreed that such cooperation, consistent with domestic laws and procedures, will include: investigation of circumvention practices which increase restrained exports to the Member maintaining such restraints; exchange of documents, correspondence, reports and other relevant information to the extent available; and facilitation of plant visits and contacts, upon request and on a case-by-case basis. Members should endeavour to clarify the circumstances of any such instances of circumvention or alleged circumvention, including the respective roles of the exporters or importers involved.

4.         Where, as a result of investigation, there is sufficient evidence that circumvention has occurred (e.g. where evidence is available concerning the country or place of true origin, and the circumstances of such circumvention), Members agree that appropriate action, to the extent necessary to address the problem, should be taken. Such action may include the denial of entry of goods or, where goods have entered, having due regard to the actual circumstances and the involvement of the country or place of true origin, the adjustment of charges to restraint levels to reflect the true country or place of origin. Also, where there is evidence of the involvement of the territories of the Members through which the goods have been transshipped, such action may include the introduction of restraints with respect to such Members. Any such actions, together with their timing and scope, may be taken after consultations held with a view to arriving at a mutually satisfactory solution between the concerned Members and shall be notified to the TMB with full justification. The Members concerned may agree on other remedies in consultation. Any such agreement shall also be notified to the TMB, and the TMB may make such recommendations to the Members concerned as it deems appropriate. If a mutually satisfactory solution is not reached, any Member concerned may refer the matter to the TMB for prompt review and recommendations.

5.            Members note that some cases of circumvention may involve shipments transiting through countries or places with no changes or alterations made to the goods contained in such shipments in the places of transit. They note that it may not be generally practicable for such places of transit to exercise control over such shipments.

6.            Members agree that false declaration concerning fibre content, quantities, description or classification of merchandise also frustrates the objective of this Agreement. Where there is evidence that any such false declaration has been made for purposes of circumvention, Members agree that appropriate measures, consistent with domestic laws and procedures, should be taken against the exporters or importers involved. Should any Member believe that this Agreement is being circumvented by such false declaration and that no, or inadequate, administrative measures are being applied to address and/or to take action against such circumvention, that Member should consult promptly with the Member involved with a view to seeking a mutually satisfactory solution. If such a solution is not reached, the matter may be referred by any Member involved to the TMB for recommendations. This provision is not intended to prevent Members from making technical adjustments when inadvertent errors in declarations have been made.

Article 6

1.             Members recognize that during the transition period it may be necessary to apply a specific transitional safeguard mechanism (referred to in this Agreement as “transitional safeguard”). The transitional safeguard may be applied by any Member to products covered by the Annex, except those integrated into GATT 1994 under the provisions of Article 2. Members not maintaining restrictions falling under Article 2 shall notify the TMB within 60 days following the date of entry into force of the WTO Agreement, as to whether or not they wish to retain the right to use the provisions of this Article. Members which have not accepted the Protocols extending the MFA since 1986 shall make such notification within 6 months following the entry into force of the WTO Agreement. The transitional safeguard should be applied as sparingly as possible, consistently with the provisions of this Article and the effective implementation of the integration process under this Agreement.

2.            Safeguard action may be taken under this Article when, on the basis of a determination by a Member[5], it is demonstrated that a particular product is being imported into its territory in such increased quantities as to cause serious damage, or actual threat thereof, to the domestic industry producing like and/or directly competitive products. Serious damage or actual threat thereof must demonstrably be caused by such increased quantities in total imports of that product and not by such other factors as technological changes or changes in consumer preference.

3.         In making a determination of serious damage, or actual threat thereof, as referred to in paragraph 2, the Member shall examine the effect of those imports on the state of the particular industry, as reflected in changes in such relevant economic variables as output, productivity, utilization of capacity, inventories, market share, exports, wages, employment, domestic prices, profits and investment; none of which, either alone or combined with other factors, can necessarily give decisive guidance.

4.         Any measure invoked pursuant to the provisions of this Article shall be applied on a Member-by-Member basis. The Member or Members to whom serious damage, or actual threat thereof, referred to in paragraphs 2 and 3, is attributed, shall be determined on the basis of a sharp and substantial increase in imports, actual or imminent[6], from such a Member or Members individually, and on the basis of the level of imports as compared with imports from other sources, market share, and import and domestic prices at a comparable stage of commercial transaction; none of these factors, either alone or combined with other factors, can necessarily give decisive guidance. Such safeguard measure shall not be applied to the exports of any Member whose exports of the particular product are already under restraint under this Agreement.

5.         The period of validity of a determination of serious damage or actual threat thereof for the purpose of invoking safeguard action shall not exceed 90 days from the date of initial notification as set forth in paragraph 7.

6.         In the application of the transitional safeguard, particular account shall be taken of the interests of exporting Members as set out below:

            (a)        least-developed country Members shall be accorded treatment significantly more favourable than that provided to the other groups of Members referred to in this paragraph, preferably in all its elements but, at least, on overall terms;

            (b)        Members whose total volume of textile and clothing exports is small in comparison with the total volume of exports of other Members and who account for only a small percentage of total imports of that product into the importing Member shall be accorded differential and more favourable treatment in the fixing of the economic terms provided in paragraphs 8, 13 and 14. For those suppliers, due account will be taken, pursuant to paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 1, of the future possibilities for the development of their trade and the need to allow commercial quantities of imports from them;

            (c)        with respect to wool products from wool-producing developing country Members whose economy and textiles and clothing trade are dependent on the wool sector, whose total textile and clothing exports consist almost exclusively of wool products, and whose volume of textiles and clothing trade is comparatively small in the markets of the importing Members, special consideration shall be given to the export needs of such Members when considering quota levels, growth rates and flexibility;

            (d)        more favourable treatment shall be accorded to re-imports by a Member of textile and clothing products which that Member has exported to another Member for processing and subsequent reimportation, as defined by the laws and practices of the importing Member, and subject to satisfactory control and certification procedures, when these products are imported from a Member for which this type of trade represents a significant proportion of its total exports of textiles and clothing.

7.         The Member proposing to take safeguard action shall seek consultations with the Member or Members which would be affected by such action. The request for consultations shall be accompanied by specific and relevant factual information, as up-to-date as possible, particularly in regard to: (a) the factors, referred to in paragraph 3, on which the Member invoking the action has based its determination of the existence of serious damage or actual threat thereof; and (b) the factors, referred to in paragraph 4, on the basis of which it proposes to invoke the safeguard action with respect to the Member or Members concerned. In respect of requests made under this paragraph, the information shall be related, as closely as possible, to identifiable segments of production and to the reference period set out in paragraph 8. The Member invoking the action shall also indicate the specific level at which imports of the product in question from the Member or Members concerned are proposed to be restrained; such level shall not be lower than the level referred to in paragraph 8. The Member seeking consultations shall, at the same time, communicate to the Chairman of the TMB the request for consultations, including all the relevant factual data outlined in paragraphs 3 and 4, together with the proposed restraint level. The Chairman shall inform the members of the TMB of the request for consultations, indicating the requesting Member, the product in question and the Member having received the request. The Member or Members concerned shall respond to this request promptly and the consultations shall be held without delay and normally be completed within 60 days of the date on which the request was received.

8.         If, in the consultations, there is mutual understanding that the situation calls for restraint on the exports of the particular product from the Member or Members concerned, the level of such restraint shall be fixed at a level not lower than the actual level of exports or imports from the Member concerned during the 12-month period terminating two months preceding the month in which the request for consultation was made.

9.         Details of the agreed restraint measure shall be communicated to the TMB within 60 days from the date of conclusion of the agreement. The TMB shall determine whether the agreement is justified in accordance with the provisions of this Article. In order to make its determination, the TMB shall have available to it the factual data provided to the Chairman of the TMB, referred to in paragraph 7, as well as any other relevant information provided by the Members concerned. The TMB may make such recommendations as it deems appropriate to the Members concerned.

10.       If, however, after the expiry of the period of 60 days from the date on which the request for consultations was received, there has been no agreement between the Members, the Member which proposed to take safeguard action may apply the restraint by date of import or date of export, in accordance with the provisions of this Article, within 30 days following the 60-day period for consultations, and at the same time refer the matter to the TMB. It shall be open to either Member to refer the matter to the TMB before the expiry of the period of 60 days. In either case, the TMB shall promptly conduct an examination of the matter, including the determination of serious damage, or actual threat thereof, and its causes, and make appropriate recommendations to the Members concerned within 30 days. In order to conduct such examination, the TMB shall have available to it the factual data provided to the Chairman of the TMB, referred to in paragraph 7, as well as any other relevant information provided by the Members concerned.

11.       In highly unusual and critical circumstances, where delay would cause damage which would be difficult to repair, action under paragraph 10 may be taken provisionally on the condition that the request for consultations and notification to the TMB shall be effected within no more than five working days after taking the action. In the case that consultations do not produce agreement, the TMB shall be notified at the conclusion of consultations, but in any case no later than 60 days from the date of the implementation of the action. The TMB shall promptly conduct an examination of the matter, and make appropriate recommendations to the Members concerned within 30 days. In the case that consultations do produce agreement, Members shall notify the TMB upon conclusion but, in any case, no later than 90 days from the date of the implementation of the action. The TMB may make such recommendations as it deems appropriate to the Members concerned.

12.       A Member may maintain measures invoked pursuant to the provisions of this Article: (a) for up to three years without extension, or (b) until the product is integrated into GATT 1994, whichever comes first.

13.       Should the restraint measure remain in force for a period exceeding one year, the level for subsequent years shall be the level specified for the first year increased by a growth rate of not less than 6 per cent per annum, unless otherwise justified to the TMB. The restraint level for the product concerned may be exceeded in either year of any two subsequent years by carry forward and/or carryover of 10 per cent of which carry forward shall not represent more than 5 per cent. No quantitative limits shall be placed on the combined use of carryover, carry forward and the provision of paragraph 14.

14.       When more than one product from another Member is placed under restraint under this Article by a Member, the level of restraint agreed, pursuant to the provisions of this Article, for each of these products may be exceeded by 7 per cent, provided that the total exports subject to restraint do not exceed the total of the levels for all products so restrained under this Article, on the basis of agreed common units. Where the periods of application of restraints of these products do not coincide with each other, this provision shall be applied to any overlapping period on a pro rata basis.

15.       If a safeguard action is applied under this Article to a product for which a restraint was previously in place under the MFA during the 12-month period prior to the entry into force of the WTO Agreement, or pursuant to the provisions of Article 2 or 6, the level of the new restraint shall be the level provided for in paragraph 8 unless the new restraint comes into force within one year of:

            (a)        the date of notification referred to in paragraph 15 of Article 2 for the elimination of the previous restraint; or

            (b)        the date of removal of the previous restraint put in place pursuant to the provisions of this Article or of the MFA

in which case the level shall not be less than the higher of (i) the level of restraint for the last 12-month period during which the product was under restraint, or (ii) the level of restraint provided for in paragraph 8.

16.       When a Member which is not maintaining a restraint under Article 2 decides to apply a restraint pursuant to the provisions of this Article, it shall establish appropriate arrangements which: (a) take full account of such factors as established tariff classification and quantitative units based on normal commercial practices in export and import transactions, both as regards fibre composition and in terms of competing for the same segment of its domestic market, and (b) avoid over-categorization. The request for consultations referred to in paragraphs 7 or 11 shall include full information on such arrangements.

Article 7

1.         As part of the integration process and with reference to the specific commitments undertaken by the Members as a result of the Uruguay Round, all Members shall take such actions as may be necessary to abide by GATT 1994 rules and disciplines so as to:

            (a)        achieve improved access to markets for textile and clothing products through such measures as tariff reductions and bindings, reduction or elimination of non-tariff barriers, and facilitation of customs, administrative and licensing formalities;

            (b)        ensure the application of policies relating to fair and equitable trading conditions as regards textiles and clothing in such areas as dumping and anti-dumping rules and procedures, subsidies and countervailing measures, and protection of intellectual property rights; and

            (c)        avoid discrimination against imports in the textiles and clothing sector when taking measures for general trade policy reasons.

Such actions shall be without prejudice to the rights and obligations of Members under GATT 1994.

2.            Members shall notify to the TMB the actions referred to in paragraph 1 which have a bearing on the implementation of this Agreement. To the extent that these have been notified to other WTO bodies, a summary, with reference to the original notification, shall be sufficient to fulfil the requirements under this paragraph. It shall be open to any Member to make reverse notifications to the TMB.

3.         Where any Member considers that another Member has not taken the actions referred to in paragraph 1, and that the balance of rights and obligations under this Agreement has been upset, that Member may bring the matter before the relevant WTO bodies and inform the TMB. Any subsequent findings or conclusions by the WTO bodies concerned shall form a part of the TMB’s comprehensive report.

Article 8

1.         In order to supervise the implementation of this Agreement, to examine all measures taken under this Agreement and their conformity therewith, and to take the actions specifically required of it by this Agreement, the Textiles Monitoring Body (“TMB”) is hereby established. The TMB shall consist of a Chairman and 10 members. Its membership shall be balanced and broadly representative of the Members and shall provide for rotation of its members at appropriate intervals. The members shall be appointed by Members designated by the Council for Trade in Goods to serve on the TMB, discharging their function on an ad personam basis.

2.         The TMB shall develop its own working procedures. It is understood, however, that consensus within the TMB does not require the assent or concurrence of members appointed by Members involved in an unresolved issue under review by the TMB.

3.         The TMB shall be considered as a standing body and shall meet as necessary to carry out the functions required of it under this Agreement. It shall rely on notifications and information supplied by the Members under the relevant Articles of this Agreement, supplemented by any additional information or necessary details they may submit or it may decide to seek from them. It may also rely on notifications to and reports from other WTO bodies and from such other sources as it may deem appropriate.

4.            Members shall afford to each other adequate opportunity for consultations with respect to any matters affecting the operation of this Agreement.

5.         In the absence of any mutually agreed solution in the bilateral consultations provided for in this Agreement, the TMB shall, at the request of either Member, and following a thorough and prompt consideration of the matter, make recommendations to the Members concerned.

6.         At the request of any Member, the TMB shall review promptly any particular matter which that Member considers to be detrimental to its interests under this Agreement and where consultations between it and the Member or Members concerned have failed to produce a mutually satisfactory solution. On such matters, the TMB may make such observations as it deems appropriate to the Members concerned and for the purposes of the review provided for in paragraph 11.

7.         Before formulating its recommendations or observations, the TMB shall invite participation of such Members as may be directly affected by the matter in question.

8.            Whenever the TMB is called upon to make recommendations or findings, it shall do so, preferably within a period of 30 days, unless a different time period is specified in this Agreement. All such recommendations or findings shall be communicated to the Members directly concerned. All such recommendations or findings shall also be communicated to the Council for Trade in Goods for its information.

9.         The Members shall endeavour to accept in full the recommendations of the TMB, which shall exercise proper surveillance of the implementation of such recommendations.

10.       If a Member considers itself unable to conform with the recommendations of the TMB, it shall provide the TMB with the reasons therefor not later than one month after receipt of such recommendations. Following thorough consideration of the reasons given, the TMB shall issue any further recommendations it considers appropriate forthwith. If, after such further recommendations, the matter remains unresolved, either Member may bring the matter before the Dispute Settlement Body and invoke paragraph 2 of Article XXIII of GATT 1994 and the relevant provisions of the Dispute Settlement Understanding.

11.       In order to oversee the implementation of this Agreement, the Council for Trade in Goods shall conduct a major review before the end of each stage of the integration process. To assist in this review, the TMB shall, at least five months before the end of each stage, transmit to the Council for Trade in Goods a comprehensive report on the implementation of this Agreement during the stage under review, in particular in matters with regard to the integration process, the application of the transitional safeguard mechanism, and relating to the application of GATT 1994 rules and disciplines as defined in Articles 2, 3, 6 and 7 respectively. The TMB’s comprehensive report may include any recommendation as deemed appropriate by the TMB to the Council for Trade in Goods.

12.       In the light of its review the Council for Trade in Goods shall by consensus take such decisions as it deems appropriate to ensure that the balance of rights and obligations embodied in this Agreement is not being impaired. For the resolution of any disputes that may arise with respect to matters referred to in Article 7, the Dispute Settlement Body may authorize, without prejudice to the final date set out under Article 9, an adjustment to paragraph 14 of Article 2, for the stage subsequent to the review, with respect to any Member found not to be complying with its obligations under this Agreement.

Article 9

            This Agreement and all restrictions thereunder shall stand terminated on the first day of the 121st month that the WTO Agreement is in effect, on which date the textiles and clothing sector shall be fully integrated into GATT 1994. There shall be no extension of this Agreement.

ANNEX

LIST OF PRODUCTS COVERED BY THIS AGREEMENT

 

1.         This Annex lists textile and clothing products defined by Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS) codes at the six-digit level.

[Not included here.]

2.         Actions under the safeguard provisions in Article 6 will be taken with respect to particular textile and clothing products and not on the basis of the HS lines per se.

3.         Actions under the safeguard provisions in Article 6 of this Agreement shall not apply to:

            (a)        developing country Members’ exports of handloom fabrics of the cottage industry, or hand-made cottage industry products made of such handloom fabrics, or traditional folklore handicraft textile and clothing products, provided that such products are properly certified under arrangements established between the Members concerned;

            (b)        historically traded textile products which were internationally traded in commercially significant quantities prior to 1982, such as bags, sacks, carpetbacking, cordage, luggage, mats, mattings and carpets typically made from fibres such as jute, coir, sisal, abaca, maguey and henequen;

            (c)        products made of pure silk.

For such products, the provisions of Article XIX of GATT 1994, as interpreted by the Agreement on Safeguards, shall be applicable.



[1]  To the extent possible, exports from a least-developed country Member may also benefit from this provision.

[2]  The “agreement year” is defined to mean a 12-month period beginning from the date of entry into force of the WTO Agreement and at the subsequent 12-month intervals.

[3]  The relevant GATT 1994 provisions shall not include Article XIX in respect of products not yet integrated into GATT 1994, except as specifically provided in paragraph 3 of the Annex.

[4]  Restrictions denote all unilateral quantitative restrictions, bilateral arrangements and other measures having a similar effect.

[5]  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 damage or actual 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 damage, or actual threat thereof, shall be based on the conditions existing in that member State and the measure shall be limited to that member State.

[6]  Such an imminent increase shall be a measurable one and shall not be determined to exist on the basis of allegation, conjecture or mere possibility arising, for example, from the existence of production capacity in the exporting Members.


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