Uruguay Agreement 1994

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Unlike its predecessor, the agreement contains a definition of the subsidy and introduces the concept of a «specific» subsidy – largely a subsidy available to a single company, industry or group of companies or a group of companies or industries under the jurisdiction of the granting authority. Only specific grants would be subject to the disciplines defined in the agreement. The Uruguay Round was the eighth round of multilateral trade negotiations (NTMs), organized under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) from 1986 to 1993, which included 123 countries as «contracting parties». The cycle culminated in the creation of the World Trade Organization, with GATT remaining an integral part of the WTO agreements. The broad mandate of the round was to extend GATT trade rules to areas that were previously too liberalised (agriculture, textiles) and new and increasingly important areas that had not yet been taken into account (trade in services, intellectual property, distortion of investment policy). [1] The cycle came into force in 1995 and the deadlines expired in 2000 (2004 for contracting parties in developing countries) under the administrative direction of the newly created World Trade Organization (WTO). [2] The revised agreement strengthens the disciplines applicable to users of import certificate systems – which are already much less widespread today than in the past – and increases transparency and predictability. Thus, the agreement obliges the parties to publish sufficient information so that distributors know on what basis the licences are granted. It provides for stricter rules for notifying the implementation of import authorisation procedures or their modifications. It also provides guidelines for assessing applications. The agreement contains obligations regarding recognition requirements (for example. (B) to guarantee authorisations, licenses or certifications in the field of services. It promotes the recognition requirements obtained through harmonization and internationally agreed criteria.

Other provisions provide that the parties are required to ensure that monopolies and exclusive service providers do not abuse their positions. Restrictive business practices should be consulted between the parties for their elimination. (5) There is a commodity trade council, a services council and a council on aspects of intellectual property rights that affect trade (`TRIPS Advice`), acting under the general direction of the General Council. The Trade in Goods Council monitors the operation of the multilateral trade agreements in Schedule 1A. The Council for Trade in Services monitors the functioning of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (`GATS`). The TRIPS Council monitors the functioning of the agreement on aspects of intellectual property rights that affect trade (`TRIPS agreement`). These councils carry out the functions entrusted to them by their respective agreements and by the General Council. They decide on their internal regulations, subject to the agreement of the General Council. Membership in these councils is open to representatives of all members. These councils may meet to carry out their duties. The GATT dispute resolution system is generally regarded as one of the cornerstones of the multilateral trade order.

The system has already been strengthened and streamlined by the reforms agreed upon at the mid-term ministerial review meeting in Montreal in December 1988. Disputes currently before the Council are subject to these new rules, which include a larger automatic system for decisions relating to the institution, mandate and composition of bodies, so that these decisions no longer depend on the agreement of the parties to the dispute.

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