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WTO Database for Regional Trade Agreements. WTO Workshop on PTAs 4 November 2010. Transparency Mechanism. improves existing RTA transparency provisions outlines specific guidelines for the provision of RTA data

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WTO Database for Regional Trade Agreements

WTO Workshop on PTAs

4 November 2010


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Transparency Mechanism

  • improves existing RTA transparency provisions

  • outlines specific guidelines for the provision of RTA data

  • charges the Secretariat with the preparation of a factual presentation of all RTAs notified to the WTO

  • requires the establishment of a public database on RTAs (paragraph 21).


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A WTO Database on RTAs

  • Mandate – (Para 21 of WT/L/671)

    • The aim is to provide an RTA Information System (RTA-IS), to store, maintain, analyse and disseminate factual and analytical information on RTAs

  • Objectives

    • Standardize, store, verify and maintain RTA-related textual information and RTA tariff and trade data

    • Provide statistical indicators for RTA analysis

    • Enhance the transparency and accessibility of information on RTAs through its dissemination on the WTO web site

  • Timeframe

    • January 2009 available to the public (http://rtais.wto.org)

    • Long term goal to provide up to date information, including data on trade and tariffs covered by individual agreements.


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A WTO Database on RTAs

  • Contents

    • All RTAs notified to the WTO and GATT (notifications under Article XXIV, Enabling Clause and GATS V) that are still in force.

  • Contents of Each RTA “ID Card”

    • WTO consideration process: Early announcement, notification, factual presentation, notifications of changes and notifications of completion of implementation.

    • Consideration at the meeting of the CRTA or CTD including questions and replies and minutes.

    • External links to the parties’ websites for texts and any annexes to each agreement

    • Statistical indicators for RTA analysis at the tariff line level including any staged implementation (only for RTAs subject to a factual presentation).

    • For older agreements that have already been examined, factual abstracts providing basic coverage of the agreement


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A WTO Database on RTAs

  • Search facility

    • By WTO Member

    • By criteria (eg. free trade agreement notified in 1990, or FTAs notified by the United States in 2009 etc.)

    • By provision, (eg. agreements that include provisions on competition policy and anti-dumping) or

    • By Agreement name (ASEAN) or string (for instance Asia)

    • Summary information and a list of all RTAs in force