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Information Technology Agreement (ITA). Presentation for ITU-WTO Workshop 2 December 2004. By Denby Probst, Counsellor, Market Access Division. Background of the ITA. Further liberalization desired in the Uruguay Round on IT products not achieved

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information technology agreement ita

Information Technology Agreement (ITA)

Presentation for ITU-WTO Workshop

2 December 2004

By Denby Probst, Counsellor, Market Access Division

background of the ita
Background of the ITA
  • Further liberalization desired in the Uruguay Round on IT products not achieved
  • Negotiations began among major trading partners in 1996 to achieve the ITA
  • Singapore Ministerial (1996)--Establishment of a Ministerial Declaration on Trade in Information Technology Products (ITA)


what is the ita
What is the ITA?

Main Points

  • Plurilateral initiative;
  • Among WTO Members and acceding states or separate customs territories;
  • To eliminate tariffs on information technology products as outlined in the Annexes attached thereto;
  • That are applied on an MFN basis
definition of information technology
Definition of Information Technology
  • There is no definition of information technology in the Declaration.

Information technology products are only defined by their inclusion in Attachment A or Attachment B of the Declaration

information technology products
Information Technology Products
  • Computers
  • Telecommunications
  • Semiconductors
  • Semiconductor manufacturing equipment
  • Software
  • Scientific Instruments
telecommunications equipment
  • Line telephony (HS 8517)—telephones, fax machines, switching apparatus
  • Transmission apparatus (HS 8525)—not radio or TV broadcasting
  • Portable receivers (HS 852790)—for calling, alerting or paging
  • Optical fibre cables (HS 854470)
  • No exceptions to product coverage, all products must be bound at zero
  • Flexibility allowed with respect to staging of concessions: --basic staging to 2000 --extended staging to 2005 for those original participants

--today, staging to 2008 for some recent participants

other aspects of the declaration
Other aspects of the Declaration
  • To consider classification divergences, beginning with the products specified in Attachment B
  • Periodic review of the product coverage
  • To consult on non-tariff trade barriers
ita today
ITA Today
  • 63 Participants (including the Member states of the European Communities)
  • Accounting for approximately 97 % of world trade in information technology products
  • Trade of IT products covered by the ITA has been as high as 16.5% in 2000, dropping slightly to 12% of world trade today.
ntm work programme
NTM Work Programme
  • In November 2000, the Committee launched an “NTM Work Programme” to identify NTMs and assess their impact on IT trade
  • Many of the issues raised concern standards/conformity assessment issues, but there are others concerning customs procedures, transparency, and government procurement, etc...
emc emi conformity assessment
EMC/EMI Conformity Assessment
  • One NTB, Electromagnetic compatability/Electromagnetic interference was chosen as a pilot project.
  • It was a requirement for a lot of IT equipment that involved relatively low-risk for the consumer
  • The Committee has proceeded with drafting possible “Guidelines” for conformity assessment procedures, including the use of 1st, 3rd party, and SDoC.
ita ii
  • As a result of the finalization of the ITA in April 1997, participants decided on an expedited review of the product coverage to commence in 1997
  • Work continued during 1998 and1999.
  • The Committee still takes up the matter at each meeting, but there has been no agreement to add new products as of today
doha negotiations
Doha Negotiations
  • Opportunity for all WTO Members to improve market access for their products
  • Members will need to identify priority areas to negotiate, both in tariffs and non-tariff measures
  • Will provide improved possibilities for trade of IT and related goods
the end
The End
  • Questions ?

Comments ?

Contact details:

The End