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GATS: Guidelines for the Scheduling of Specific Commitments Under the General Agreement on Trade in Services
This document, which dates from March 23, 2001 and is often referred to by the code number S/L/92, incorporates several earlier WTO secretariat notes and other documents on the subject.

 



See also the Guidelines and Procedures for Negotiations on Trade in Services and the CENTRAL guide to Trade in Services.

 

 

 



Explanatory note
[1]

Introduction

1. This note is intended to assist in the preparation of offers, requests and national schedules of specific commitments. Its objective is to explain, in a concise manner, how specific commitments should be set out in schedules in order to achieve precision and clarity. It is based on the view that a common format for schedules as well as standardization of the terms used in schedules are necessary to ensure comparable and unambiguous commitments. The note cannot answer every question that might occur to persons responsible for scheduling specific commitments; it does attempt to answer those questions which are most likely to arise. The answers should not be considered as a legal interpretation of the GATS.

2. The GATS contains two sorts of provisions. The first are general obligations, some of which apply to all service sectors (e.g. MFN, transparency) and some only to scheduled specific commitments (e.g. Article XI: Payments and Transfers). The second are specific commitments which are negotiated undertakings particular to each GATS signatory. Specific commitments, upon the conclusion of negotiations, are to be recorded in national schedules which will be attached to, and form an integral part of, the GATS. By virtue of Article XX, every signatory must attach to the GATS its national schedule. This note addresses two main questions: what items should be entered on a schedule, and how should they be entered.

PART I : WHAT ITEMS SHOULD BE SCHEDULED?

3. Since schedules, including footnotes, headnotes and attachments, are a record of legal commitments, nothing should appear in them which a Member does not intend to be legally binding. A schedule contains the following main types of information: a clear description of the sector or sub‑sector committed, limitations[2] to market access, limitations to national treatment, and additional commitments other than market access and national treatment. If a Member undertakes a commitment in a sector then it must indicate for each mode of supply that it binds in that sector:

 - what limitations, if any, it maintains on market access;

 - what limitations, if any, it maintains on national treatment; and

 - what additional commitments, relating to measures affecting trade in services not subject to scheduling under Articles XVI and XVII, it may decide to undertake under Article XVIII.

 

4. Where commitments do not cover the entire national territory, the entry should describe the geographical scope of measures taken according to Article I:3(a)(i). 

5. If attachments are used, clear reference should be made to the part of the schedules they refer to (i.e. definitions in the first column, market access commitments in the second column, national treatment commitments in the third column and additional commitments in the fourth column).

6. Exchange control restrictions are subject to the general disciplines of Articles XI (Payments and Transfers) and XII (Restrictions to Safeguard the Balance of Payments) of the GATS.

7. There is no requirement in the GATS to schedule a limitation to the effect that the cross-border movement of goods associated with the provision of a service may be subject to customs duties or other administrative charges. Such measures are subject to the disciplines of the GATT.

A. Limitations on Market Access (Article XVI)

8. A Member grants full market access in a given sector and mode of supply when it does not maintain in that sector and mode any of the types of measures listed in Article XVI. The measures listed comprise four types of quantitative restrictions (sub‑paragraphs a‑d), as well as limitations on forms of legal entity (sub‑paragraph e) and on foreign equity participation (sub‑paragraph f). The list is exhaustive and includes measures which may also be discriminatory according to the national treatment standard (Article XVII). In other words, all measures falling under any of the categories listed in Article XVI:2 must be scheduled, whether or not such measures are discriminatory according to the national treatment standard of Article XVII. The quantitative restrictions can be expressed numerically, or through the criteria specified in sub‑paragraphs (a) to (d); these criteria do not relate to the quality of the service supplied, or to the ability of the supplier to supply the service (i.e. technical standards or qualification of the supplier).

9. With regard to market access limitations, such as numerical ceilings or economic needs tests, the entry should describe each measure concisely indicating the elements which make it inconsistent with Article XVI. Numerical ceilings should be expressed in defined quantities in either absolute numbers or percentages; regarding economic needs tests the entry should indicate the main criteria on which the test is based, e.g. if the authority to establish a facility is based on a population criterion, the criterion should be described concisely. 

10. Approval procedures orlicensing and qualification requirements, such as financial soundness or membership in a professional organization, are frequently stipulated as conditions to obtain a licence. If they are of a non-discriminatory nature, and therefore to be applied equally to nationals and foreigners, they should not be scheduled under Article XVII. Nor should they be scheduled under Article XVI as long as they do not contain any of the limitations specified in Article XVI. However, if such approval procedures or licensing and qualification requirements are discriminatory, they should be scheduled as national treatment limitations. If approval procedures or licensing and qualification requirements contain any of the limitations specified in Article XVI, they should be scheduled as market access limitations. It has been pointed out that in some schedules the granting of licences has been subject to review, possibly meaning they are granted on a discretionary basis. In such a case the right to supply the service is uncertain. Therefore such entries should be avoidedunless the objective criteria on which such a review is based are precisely described.

11. It should be noted that the quantitative restrictions specified in sub‑paragraphs (a) to (d) refer to maximum limitations. Minimum requirements such as those common to licensing criteria (e.g. minimum capital requirements for the establishment of a corporate entity) do not fall within the scope of Article XVI. If such a measure is discriminatory within the meaning of Article XVII and, if it cannot be justified as an exception, it should be scheduled as a limitation on national treatment. If such a measure is non‑discriminatory, it is subject to the disciplines of Article VI:5. Where such a measure does not conform to these disciplines, and if it cannot be justified as an exception, it must be brought into conformity with Article VI:5 and cannot be scheduled.

12. The following are examples of limitations on market access drawn from the schedules of specific commitments. In this regard, paragraph 39 on the scheduling of limitations is also relevant.

(a) Limitations on the number of service suppliers:

  - Licence for a new restaurant based on an economic needs test.

 - Annually established quotas for foreign medical practitioners.

 - Government or privately owned monopoly for labour exchange agency services.

 - Nationality requirements for suppliers of services (equivalent to zero quota).

 

(b) Limitations on the total value of transaction or assets:

 

- Foreign bank subsidiaries limited to x percent of total domestic assets of all banks.

 

(c) Limitations on the total number of service operations or quantity of service output:

 

- Restrictions on broadcasting time available for foreign films.

 

(d) Limitations on the total number of natural persons:

 

- Foreign labour should not exceed x percent and/or wages xy percent of total.

 

(e) Restrictions or requirements regarding type of legal entity or joint venture:

 

- Commercial presence excludes representative offices.

 

- Foreign companies required to establish subsidiaries.

 

- In sector x, commercial presence must take the form of a partnership.

 

(f) Limitations on the participation of foreign capital:

 

- Foreign equity ceiling of x percent for a particular form of commercial presence.

 

B. Limitations on National Treatment (Article XVII)

13. A Member grants full national treatment in a given sector and mode of supply when it accords in that sector and mode conditions of competition no less favourable to services or service suppliers of other Members than those accorded to its own like services and service suppliers. The national treatment standard does not require formally identical treatment of domestic and foreign suppliers: formally different measures can result in effective equality of treatment; conversely, formally identical measures can in some cases result in less favourable treatment of foreign suppliers (de facto discrimination). Thus, it should be borne in mind that limitations on national treatment cover cases of both de facto and de jure discrimination as shown in the following examples.

Examples of limitations on national treatment[3]

 

(a) Domestic suppliers of audiovisual services are given preference in the allocation of frequencies for transmission within the national territory.  (Such a measure discriminates explicitly on the basis of the origin of the service supplier and thus constitutes formal or de jure denial of national treatment.)

 

(b) A measure stipulates that prior residency is required for the issuing of a licence to supply a service. (Although the measure does not formally distinguish service suppliers on the basis of national origin, it de facto offers less favourable treatment to foreign service suppliers because they are less likely to be able to meet a prior residency requirement than like service suppliers of national origin.)

 

It is useful to keep in mind that, unlike Article XVI, Article XVII does not contain an exhaustive listing of the types of measure which would constitute limitations on national treatment.

 

14. Regarding the need to schedule residency requirements, it should be decided on a case‑by‑case basis, and in relation to the activity concerned, which requirements (e.g. the need to live in the country as opposed to having a mailing address in the country) constitute a de facto national treatment restriction and therefore must be scheduled under Article XVII unless justifiable as an exception. If the residency requirement is not discriminatory, it would be subject to the disciplines of Article VI:5. If it is not consistent with these disciplines and if it cannot be justified as an exception, it must be brought into conformity with Article VI:5.

15. There is no obligation in the GATS which requires a Member to take measures outside its territorial jurisdiction. It therefore follows that the national treatment obligation in Article XVII does not require a Member to extend such treatment to a service supplier located in the territory of another Member.

16. Article XVII applies to subsidies in the same way that it applies to all other measures. Article XV (Subsidies) merely obliges Members to "enter into negotiations with a view to developing the necessary multilateral disciplines" to counter the distortive effects caused by subsidies and does not contain a definition of subsidy. Therefore, any subsidy which is a discriminatory measure within the meaning of Article XVII would have to be either scheduled as a limitation on national treatment or brought into conformity with that Article. Subsidies are also not excluded from the scope of Article II (MFN). In line with the paragraph above, a binding under Article XVII with respect to the granting of a subsidy does not require a Member to offer such a subsidy to a services supplier located in the territory of another Member.

17. Restrictions on the purchase, lease or use of real estate, connected with the supply of a service inscribed in a schedule, are national treatment limitations to the extent that different conditions apply to foreign services suppliers which alter the conditions of competition in favour of service suppliers of the Member compared to like service suppliers of any other Member. 

18. A Member may wish to maintain measures which are inconsistent with both Articles XVI and XVII. Article XX:2 stipulates that such measures shall be inscribed in the column relating to Article XVI on market access. Thus, while there may be no limitation entered in the national treatment column, there may exist a discriminatory measure inconsistent with national treatment inscribed in the market access column. However, in accordance with Article XX:2, any discriminatory measure scheduled in the market access column is also to be regarded as scheduled under Article XVII and subject to the provisions of that Article. When measures inconsistent with both Articles XVI and XVII are inscribed in the column relating to Article XVI (as provided for in Article XX:2), Members could indicate that this is the case (e.g. by stating "also limits national treatment" in the market access column).

C. Additional Commitments (Article XVIII)

19. A Member may, in a given sector, make commitments with respect to measures affecting trade in services not subject to scheduling under Articles XVI and XVII. Such commitments can include, but are not limited to, undertakings with respect to qualifications, technical standards, licensing requirements or procedures, and other domestic regulations that are consistent with Article VI. Additional commitments are expressed in the form of undertakings, not limitations. In the schedule, the Additional Commitments column would only include entries where specific commitments are being undertaken, and need not include those modes of supply where there are no commitments undertaken or any entries at all where no Article XVIII undertakings are made.

D. Exceptions

20. All measures falling under Article XIV (General Exceptions) are excepted from all obligations and commitments under the Agreement, and therefore should not be scheduled. Clearly, such exceptions cannot be negotiated under Part III of the Agreement. Likewise, any prudential measure taken in accordance with paragraph 2(a) of the Annex on Financial Services constitutes an exception to the Agreement and should not be scheduled. Notwithstanding any other provisions of the Agreement, a Member shall not be prevented from taking measures for prudential reasons in accordance with paragraph 2(a) of the Annex on Financial Services. Measures falling under Article XII (Restrictions to Safeguard the Balance of Payments) are also exceptions and should not be scheduled. Article XII provides for separate disciplines for such measures, including notification and consultation.

E. Specific Commitments and MFN Exemptions

21. A Member taking a national treatment or a market access commitment in a sector must accord the stated minimum standard of treatment specified in its schedule to all other Members. The MFN obligation requires that the most favourable treatment actually accorded in all sectors, whether the subject of a commitment or not, must also be accorded to all other Members. Where an MFN exemption has been granted for a measure, a Member is free to deviate from its Article II obligations, but not from its Article XVI and Article XVII commitments. Therefore, in such cases, a Member may accord treatment in that sector more favourable than the minimum standard to some Members, as long as all other Members receive at least that minimum standard of market access and national treatment appearing in its schedule. In such cases, it is not possible for a Member to accord less favourable treatment to certain Members than that specified in its schedule (for example, on grounds of reciprocity or the lack of it).

PART II: HOW SHOULD ITEMS BE SCHEDULED?

22. Schedules record, for each sector, the legally enforceable commitments of each Member. It is therefore vital that schedules be clear, precise and based on a common format and terminology. This section describes how commitments should be entered in schedules. The main steps involved are:

 A. How to describe committed sectors and sub‑sectors;

 B. How to treat the modes of supply;

 C. How to record commitments:

 1. Horizontal commitments;

 2. Sector‑specific commitments;

 3. Levels of commitment.

 

A. How to describe committed sectors and sub‑sectors

23. The legal nature of a schedule as well as the need to evaluate commitments, require the greatest possible degree of clarity in the description of each sector or sub‑sector scheduled. In general the classification of sectors and sub‑sectors should be based on the Secretariat's Services Sectoral Classification List.[4] Each sector contained in the Secretariat list is identified by the corresponding Central Product Classification (CPC) number. Where it is necessary to refine further a sectoral classification, this should be done on the basis of the CPC or other internationally recognised classification (e.g. Financial Services Annex). A breakdown of the CPC, including explanatory notes for each sub‑sector, is contained in the UN Provisional Central Product Classification.[5]

Example: A Member wishes to indicate an offer or commitment in the sub‑sector of map‑making services. In the Secretariat list, this service would fall under the general heading "Other Business Services" under "Related scientific and technical consulting services" (see item l.F.m). By consulting the CPC, map‑making can be found under the corresponding CPC classification number 86754. In its offer/schedule, the Member would then enter the sub‑sector under the "Other Business Services" section of its schedule as follows:

 

Map‑making services (86754)

 

24. If a Member wishes to use its own sub‑sectoral classification or definitions it should provide concordance with the CPC in the manner indicated in the above example. If this is not possible, it should give a sufficiently detailed definition to avoid any ambiguity as to the scope of the commitment.

25. It is understood that market access and national treatment commitments apply only to the sectors or sub‑sectors inscribed in the schedule. They do not imply a right for the supplier of a committed service to supply uncommitted services which are inputs to the committed service.

B. How to treat the modes of supply

26. The four modes of supply listed in the schedules correspond to the scope of the GATS as set out in Article I:2. The modes are essentially defined on the basis of the origin of the service supplier and consumer, and the degree and type of territorial presence which they have at the moment the service is delivered.


MODES OF SUPPLY

 

 

Supplier Presence

 

Other Criteria

 

Mode

 

Service supplier not present within the territory of the Member

Service delivered within the territory of the Member, from the territory of another Member

CROSS‑BORDER SUPPLY

Service delivered outside the territory of the Member, in the territory of another Member, to a service consumer of the Member

CONSUMPTION ABROAD

Service supplier present within the territory of the Member

Service delivered within the territory of the Member, through the commercial presence of the supplier

COMMERCIAL PRESENCE

Service delivered within the territory of the Member, with supplier present as a natural person

PRESENCE OF NATURAL PERSON

 

27. It is important to have a common understanding of what each mode covers. To this end, further examples and explanations are given below.

1. Cross‑border supply

28. International transport, the supply of a service through telecommunications or mail, and services embodied in exported goods (i.e. services supplied in or by a physical medium, such as a computer diskette or drawings) are all examples of cross‑border supply, since the service supplier is not present within the territory of the Member where the service is delivered.

2. Consumption abroad

29. This mode of supply is often referred to as "movement of the consumer". The essential feature of this mode is that the service is delivered outside the territory of the Member making the commitment. Often the actual movement of the consumer is necessary as in tourism services. However, activities such as ship repair abroad, where only the property of the consumer "moves", or is situated abroad, are also covered. 

30. Whatever the mode of supply, obligations and commitments under the Agreement relate directly to the treatment of services and service suppliers. They only relate to service consumers insofar as services or service suppliers of other Members are affected. It should be noted that a Member may only be able to impose restrictive measures affecting its own consumers, not those of other Members, on activities taking place outside its jurisdiction.

31. Limitations in the schedule of a Member - if any - with respect to mode 2 on market access and/or on national treatment should only relate to measures affecting the consumers of that Member, and not to measures affecting consumers of another Member, in the territory of that Member. 

3. Commercial Presence

32. This mode covers not only the presence of juridical persons in the strict legal sense, but also that of legal entities which share some of the same characteristics. It thus includes, inter alia, corporations, joint ventures, partnerships, representative offices and branches (see Definitions: Article XXVIII).

4. Presence of natural persons

33. This mode covers natural persons who are themselves service suppliers, as well as natural persons who are employees of service suppliers.

34. With respect to the fourth mode of supply, many participants have chosen to inscribe their bound commitments in the form of undertakings rather than in the form of market access limitations. In such cases the bound measures affecting the entry and temporary stay of natural persons are explicitly stated. Thus, in the absence of a reference to a specific duration for the temporary stay of a foreign service supplier, it could be understood that no binding is being undertaken in respect of the duration of that stay. It is noted in this regard that, according to Article XX:1(a) of the Agreement, with respect to sectors where commitments are undertaken, each schedule shall specify the terms, limitations and conditions on market access. Commitments should include the duration of temporary stay of natural persons for the purpose of supplying a service. In any event a Member's regulatory measures would still be subject to the general requirement, in paragraph 4 of the Annex on the Movement of Natural Persons, that they do not nullify or impair the benefits accruing to any other Member under the terms of a specific commitment.

5. Relationship between modes of supply

35. Where a service transaction requires in practical terms the use of more than one mode of supply, coverage of the transaction is only ensured when there are commitments in each relevant mode of supply.

Example: A Member has made a commitment in the cross‑border supply of architectural services (e.g. by telecommunications or by mail). This commitment alone does not extend to the presence of natural persons (e.g. visits by architects). A separate commitment would have to be taken under "Presence of natural persons" to cover this case.

 

C. How to record commitments

1. Horizontal commitments

36. A horizontal commitment applies to trade in services in all scheduled services sectors unless otherwise specified. It is in effect a binding, either of a measure which constitutes a limitation on market access or national treatment or of a situation in which there are no such limitations. Where measures constituting limitations are referred to, the commitment should describe the measure concisely, indicating the elements which make it inconsistent with Articles XVI or XVII. In order to avoid repetition, it is desirable to enter these commitments in a separate section at the beginning of the schedule according to the four modes of supply. Such a section could be entitled: "Horizontal commitments applicable to sectors listed in the sectoral part of the schedule". Some horizontal measures may be specific to only one mode of supply:

Example: Legislation may refer to foreign investment, formation of corporate structures or land acquisition regulations. Such measures affect above all commercial presence.

 

Example: Legislation may stipulate requirements regarding entry, temporary stay and right to work of natural persons; the categories of natural persons covered by a particular offer may also be specified. Such measures affect above all the presence of natural persons.

 

Other horizontal measures may affect more than one mode of supply:

 

Example: Legislation may provide for tax measures which are contrary to national treatment and not covered by Article XIV(d). Such measures would normally affect the supply of services in several modes.

 

37. Horizontal commitments condition all other entries in the schedule unless otherwise specified. Hence:

 - A "none" in the sectoral section must be read as meaning "none except the conditions set out in the horizontal section".[6]

 

- To indicate in a given sector that no restrictions whatever are imposed, a Member must make clear in the horizontal section or in the relevant sectoral section that the horizontal restrictions do not apply in the sector in question.

 

- In the case of a sector-specific restriction the entry must be read as the combination of the horizontal restrictions and of the sector‑specific restriction unless explicitly provided otherwise in the entry.

 

38. To the extent that domestic laws of general application contain measures which constitute limitations, and if the Member wishes to maintain them, the commitment should describe the measures concisely. According to the agreed scheduling procedures, schedules should not contain general references to laws and regulations as it is understood that such references would not have legal implications under the GATS. 

2. Sector‑specific commitments

39. A sector‑specific commitment applies to trade in services in a particular sector. If in the context of such a commitment, a measure is maintained which is contrary to Articles XVI or XVII, it must be entered as a limitation in the appropriate column (either market access or national treatment) for the relevant sector and modes of supply; the entry should describe the measure concisely, indicating the elements which make it inconsistent with Articles XVI or XVII.

40. Given the legal nature of a schedule, it should contain only descriptions of bound commitments. Any additional information for transparency purposes should not be entered in the schedule. A reference to the legal basis of a scheduled measure (i.e. the relevant law or regulation) may be entered if thought necessary. In any event, such information will be subject to the obligations of Article III.

3. Levels of commitment

41. Since the terms used in a Member's schedule create legally binding commitments, it is important that those expressing presence or absence of limitations to market access and national treatment be uniform and precise. Depending on the extent to which a Member has limited market access and national treatment, for each commitment with respect to each mode of supply, four cases can be foreseen:

(a) Full commitment

42. In this case the Member does not seek in any way to limit market access or national treatment in a given sector and mode of supply through measures inconsistent with Articles XVI and XVII. The Member in this situation should mark in the appropriate column: NONE. However, any relevant limitations listed in the horizontal section of the schedule will still apply.

43. Regardless of what is inscribed in the market access column, a "no limitations" entry in the National Treatment column (expressed as "None") would mean that national treatment is bound for the entire mode; it is not limited to what may be bound in a market access commitment with limitations. Thus, if a Member makes a commitment under Article XVI in a sector, where commercial presence is limited to partnerships, an entry "None" or any other entry in the national treatment column would refer to the whole mode of supply and not only to partnerships. (See also paragraphs 3 and 13)

(b) Commitment with limitations

44. Where market access or national treatment limitations are inscribed, two main possibilities can be envisaged in this case. The first is the binding of an existing situation ("standstill"). The second is the binding of a more liberal situation where some, but not all, of the measures inconsistent with Articles XVI or XVII will be removed ("rollback"). In either case the Member must describe in the appropriate column the measures maintained which are inconsistent with Articles XVI or XVII. The entry should describe each measure concisely, indicating the elements which make it inconsistent with Articles XVI or XVII. It would not be correct merely to enter in a column words such as "bound", "freeze" or "standstill".

45. In some cases a Member may choose to partially bind measures affecting a given category of suppliers. For example, a Member may bind measures affecting the entry and temporary stay only of some categories of natural persons while leaving all other categories unbound. This may be achieved through an indication in the horizontal section of a schedule such as "Unbound except for measures affecting the entry and temporary stay of natural persons in the following categories...". In such cases, the corresponding sectoral entry under the fourth mode of supply should be "Unbound except as indicated in the horizontal section".

(c) No commitment

46. In this case, the Member remains free in a given sector and mode of supply to introduce or maintain measures inconsistent with market access or national treatment. In this situation, the Member must record in the appropriate column the word: UNBOUND. This case is only relevant where a commitment has been made in a sector with respect to at least one mode of supply. Where all modes of supply are "unbound", and no additional commitments have been undertaken in the sector, the sector should not appear on the schedule.

(d) No commitment technically feasible

47. In some situations, a particular mode of supply may not be technically feasible. An example might be the cross‑border supply of hair‑dressing services. In these cases the term UNBOUND* should be used. The asterisk should refer to a footnote which states "Unbound due to lack of technical feasibility". The term may not be used as an entry in the national treatment column for modes 1 and 2 when, for the same service, there is a market access commitment. Where the mode of supply thought to be inapplicable is in fact applicable, or becomes so in the future, the entry means "unbound".

(e) Special cases

48. It could be argued that a reservation for a residence requirement, a nationality condition or a commercial presence requirement under cross border trade amounts to an "unbound". However in some cases there is clearly an advantage in inscribing those requirements instead of the term "unbound" in that trading partners have the certainty that there are no other limitations with respect to the cross border mode (see also paragraph 14 on residency requirements and paragraph 12 on nationality requirements). 

49. Where a national schedule refers to foreign companies and national companies, it is necessary to offer a definition for those cases where a Member uses terms which are not covered by the common definitions contained in Article XXVIII of the GATS. 

 

 


Annex 1

 

SCHEDULE OF SPECIFIC COMMITMENTS OF COUNTRY X

 

 

Sector or Sub‑Sector

Limitations on Market Access

Limitations on National Treatment

Additional Commitments

 

(1)

(1)

(2)

(2)

(3)

(3)

(4)

(4)

(1)

(1)

(2)

(2)

(3)

(3)

(4)

(4)

 

 

 

Key: (1) Cross‑border supply (3) Commercial presence

 (2) Consumption abroad (4) Presence of natural persons

 

 

NOTE: The schedule shall also indicate the date of entry into force of the commitments and where appropriate the time‑frame for their implementation. For all future commitments the relevant date of entry into force should be inscribed.

 

 


Annex 2

 

LIST OF ATTACHED DOCUMENTS RELEVANT FOR SCHEDULING PURPOSES[7]

 

1) Examples of frequently occurring national treatment restrictions, which appear in schedules of specific commitments.

2) Informal Note by the Secretariat for the Committee on Trade in Financial Services, dated 24 June 1997, "The Distinction between Modes 1 and 2", (Also included in document S/FIN/W/14).

3) Job No. 3706, dated 3 July 1997, Informal Note by the Secretariat for the Committee on Trade in Financial Services, Report of Informal Consultations held on 27 June 1997 on the Distinction between Modes 1 and 2 in Financial Services (Also included in document S/FIN/W/14).

4) Job No. 6496, dated 25 November 1998 (also included in document S/WPPS/4, dated 10 December 1998), Informal Note by the Chairman of the Working Party on Professional Services "Discussion of matters relating to Articles XVI and XVII of the GATS in connection with the disciplines on domestic regulation in the accountancy sector".

5) S/GBT/W/2/Rev.1, dated 16 January 1997, Note by the Chairman of the Negotiating Group on Basic Telecommunications on Scheduling Basic Telecom Services Commitments.

6) S/GBT/W/3, dated 3 February 1997, Note by the Chairman of the Negotiating Group on Basic Telecommunications on Market Access Limitations on Spectrum Availability.

7) Annex to Job No. 1311, dated 12 April 1995, Informal Note by the Secretariat "Model Schedule of Commitments on Basic Telecommunications".

8) MTN.GNS/W/120, dated 10 July 1991, Note by the Secretariat "Services Sectoral Classification List".

 

Attachment 4

 

Job No. 6496

 

 

Working Party on Professional Services 25 November 1998

 

 

DISCUSSION OF MATTERS RELATING TO ARTICLES XVI AND XVII OF THE GATS IN CONNECTION WITH THE DISCIPLINES ON DOMESTIC REGULATION IN THE ACCOUNTANCY SECTOR

 

Informal Note by the Chairman

 

 

1. For the purpose of transparency, this Note explains the method by which the Working Party on Professional Services (WPPS) pursued its work with respect to the question of the types of measures it would address in creating the disciplines in the accountancy sector. For the avoidance of any doubt, it is emphasised that this Note has no legal status.

2. In the course of work to develop multilateral disciplines on domestic regulation in the accountancy sector, pursuant to paragraph 4 of Article VI of the GATS, the WPPS addressed a wide range of regulatory measures which have an impact on trade in accountancy services. In discussing the structure and content of the new disciplines, it became clear that some of these measures were subject to other legal provisions in the GATS, most notably Articles XVI and XVII. It was observed that the new disciplines developed under Article VI:4 must not overlap with other provisions already existing in the GATS, including Articles XVI and XVII, as this would create legal uncertainty. For this reason, a number of the suggestions for disciplines were excluded from the text.

3. Although it was not in the mandate of the WPPS to provide an interpretation of GATS provisions, the important relationship between the new disciplines and Articles XVI and XVII was noted. While these two Articles relate to the scheduling of specific commitments on measures falling within their scope, the disciplines developed under Article VI:4 aim at ensuring that other types of regulatory measures do not create unnecessary barriers to trade. It has been noted that Article XVI (Market Access) covers the categories of measures referred to in paragraph 2 (a) to (f), whether or not any discrimination is made in their application between domestic and foreign suppliers. Article XVII (National Treatment) captures within its scope any measure that discriminates - whether de jure or de facto - against foreign services or service suppliers in favour of like services or service suppliers of national origin. AMember scheduling commitments under Articles XVI and XVII has the right to maintain limitations on market access and national treatment and inscribe them in its schedule. On the other hand, the disciplines to be developed under Article VI:4 cover domestic regulatory measures which are not regarded as market access limitations as such, and which do not in principle discriminate against foreign suppliers. They are therefore not subject to scheduling under Articles XVI and XVII. However, it is also recognized that for some categories of measures the determination as to whether an individual measure falls under Article VI:4 disciplines or is subject to scheduling under Article XVII will require careful consideration.

4. The following types of measures affecting trade in accountancy services were raised by some Members as examples of those which may be subject to negotiation and scheduling under Articles XVI and XVII:

* Restrictions relating to the number of foreign accountants that can be employed, the number of new licences to be issued, the legal form of establishment and the ownership of firms.

 

* Discriminatory requirements and procedures relating to the licensing of foreign individuals and the establishment of natural persons and legal persons in the accountancy sector, including the use of foreign andinternational firm names. Discriminatory elements which set prior conditions unrelated to the ability of the supplier to provide the service when preparing, adopting or applying licensing requirements.

 

* Discriminatory residency requirements or requirements for citizenship, including those required for sitting examinations related to obtaining a licence to practice. Discriminatory requirements for membership of a particular professional body as a prior condition for application.

 

* Discriminatory treatment of applications from foreign service suppliers vis-à-vis domestic applications including: criteria relating to education, experience, examinations and ethics; the overall degree of difficulty when testing competence of applicants; the need for in-country experience before sitting examinations.

 

5. The above mentioning of these types of measures does not prejudge future negotiations, which are mandated under Article XIX of the GATS.

 

__________


Attachment 5

 

World Trade

Organization

RESTRICTED

 

S/GBT/W/2/Rev.1

16 January 1997

(97-0173)

 

Group on Basic Telecommunications

 

 

 

 

Note by the Chairman

 

Revision

 

 

 It has been suggested by a number of delegations that it might be helpful to produce a brief and simple note on assumptions applicable to the scheduling of commitments in basic telecoms. The purpose of the attached note is to assist delegations in ensuring the transparency of their commitments and to promote a better understanding of the meaning of commitments. This note is not intended to have or acquire any binding legal status.

 

 

NOTES FOR SCHEDULING BASIC TELECOM SERVICES COMMITMENTS

 

 

1. Unless otherwise noted in the sector column, any basic telecom service listed in the sector column:

 

(a) encompasses local, long distance and international services for public and non-public use;

 

(b) may be provided on a facilities-basis or by resale; and

 

(c) may be provided through any means of technology (e.g., cable[12], wireless, satellites).

 

2. Subsector (g) --private leased circuit services -- involves the ability of service suppliers to sell or lease any type of network capacity for the supply of services listed in any other basic telecom service subsector unless otherwise noted in the sector column. This would include capacity via cable, satellite and wireless network.

 

3. In view of points 1 and 2 above, it should not be necessary to list cellular or mobile services as a separate subsector. However, a number of Members have done so, and a number of offers have commitments only in these subsectors. Therefore, in order to avoid extensive changes in schedules, it would seem appropriate for Members to maintain separate entries for these subsectors.

 

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Attachment 6

 

World Trade

Organization

RESTRICTED

 

S/GBT/W/3

3 February 1997

(97-0415)

 

Group on Basic Telecommunications

Original: English

 

 

 

CHAIRMAN'S NOTE

 

Market Access Limitations on Spectrum Availability

 

 

 Many Members have entries in the market access column of their schedules indicating that commitments are "subject to availability of spectrum/frequency" or similar wording. In light of the physical nature of spectrum and the constraints inherent in its use, it is understandable that Members may have sought to rely on these words to adequately protect legitimate spectrum management policies. There is, however, doubt that words such as "subject to availability of spectrum/frequency" as listed in the market access column of many Members' schedules achieve that objective.

 

 Spectrum/frequency management is not, per se, a measure which needs to be listed under Article XVI. Furthermore under the GATS each Member has the right to exercise spectrum/frequency management, which may affect the number of service suppliers, provided that this is done in accordance with Article VI and other relevant provisions of the GATS. This includes the ability to allocate frequency bands taking into account existing and future needs. Also, Members which have made additional commitment in line with the Reference Paper on regulatory principles are bound by its paragraph 6.

 

 Therefore, words such as "subject to availability of spectrum/frequency" are unnecessary and should be deleted from Members' schedules.

 

 

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Attachment 7: Draft Model Schedule of Commitments on Basic Telecommunications

 

Attachment 8: Services Sectoral Classification List



[1] This document is the result of a revision exercise carried out in the Committee on Specific Commitments. The exercise was based on the two documents which were produced and circulated during the Uruguay Round negotiations: MTN.GNS/W/164, entitled Scheduling of Initial Commitments in Trade in Services: Explanatory Note of 3 September 1993, and document MTN.GNS/W/164/Add.1, entitled Scheduling of Initial Commitments in Trade in Services: Explanatory Note, Addendum of 30 November 1993. These guidelines shall be applicable as of the date of their adoption. It should be understood that schedules in force prior to the date of this document have been drafted according to MTN.GNS/W/164 and MTN.GNS/W/164/Add.1.

[2] The term "limitations" will be used throughout this note to refer to the "terms", "conditions", "limitations", and "qualifications" used in Articles XVI and XVII of the GATS.

[3] More examples of frequently occurring national treatment restrictions are listed in Attachment 1.

[4]Document MTN.GNS/W/120, dated 10 July 1991.

[5]Statistical Papers Series M No. 77, Provisional Central Product Classification, Department of International Economic and Social Affairs, Statistical Office of the United Nations, New York, 1991.

[6] Due account must be taken, if need be, of the provision of Article XX:2 of the GATS relating to the scheduling of measures inconsistent with both market access and national treatment in the market access column.

[7]It is understood that the status of each of the documents listed is unique and that therefore each document should be looked at based on its specific background and nature. The fact that such documents are annexed to these guidelines should not be interpreted as changing their status. In the same manner,it is understood that some of the documents listed in this annex deal with scheduling questions only for the sector they refer to.

[8] On the determination of whether a measure is subject to scheduling under Articles XVI or XVII or whether it falls under Article VI of the GATS, see also the attached Informal Note by the Chairman of the Working Party on Professional Services “Discussion of matters relating to Articles XVI and XVII of the GATS in connection with the disciplines on domestic regulation in the accountancy sector”, 25 November 1998, document Job No. 6496.

[9] If both modes were unbound, a Member would be entitled to introduce any measures inconsistent with Article XVI or XVII with respect to both modes, and drawing a line between them would not serve any practical purpose. If both modes were bound, a Member would be entitled to apply only the measures inscribed in its schedule. In this latter case, any ambiguity in the distinction between modes 1 and 2 could result in a misplacement of scheduled measures, but the consequences of this might not be as far-reaching as the non-scheduling of a measure. If the measures applicable to services supplied under the modes are prudential, there is no need to schedule them.

 

[10] In making this distinction between modes 1 and 2, one should focus on the delivery of the service itself, and not confuse this with the underlying flows of capital or the act of ordering or requesting the supply of a service.

[11] Another point worth noting is that any substantive solution would have immediate implications for a broad range of other services which are commonly traded cross-border, such as telecommunication services. Since any attempt to draw the line between the modes of supply for a financial service would have direct relevance to other service sectors, this issue might ideally be dealt with in parallel by the Committee on Specific Commitments. Such a major exercises would not be completed in the time-frame of the financial services negotiations.

[12] Including all types of cable.

[13] Some such examples might include: paging services, satellite transmission services, intra-corporate communications, video dialtone, wireless access, fixed line access, analogue/digital cellular mobile networks and services, PCS networks and services, mobile data services, international switching and other international gateway facilities such as satellite earth stations, domestic/international satellite services and satellite links/capacity.

 *The (*) indicates that the service specified is a component of a more aggregated CPC item specified elsewhere in this classification list.

 ** The (**) indicates that the service specified constitutes only a part of the total range of activities covered by the CPC concordance (e.g. voice mail is only a component of CPC item 7523).