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Pre-WTO legal texts

In the period from 1947 to 1986 there were a number of agreements which developed the basis for international trade relations. The original General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, which incorporated relevant sections of the Havana Charter, was negotiated in 1947 and came into force in 1948. Subsequent years saw a series of eight negotiating rounds under the GATT, until the launch of the Uruguay Round in 1986.

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GATT documents
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Stanford University)


Havana Charter back to top

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Employment, held in Havana, Cuba, in 1947, adopted the Havana Charter for the International Trade Organization which was meant to establish a multilateral trade organization. For various reasons, the charter never came into force.

  • Full text of the Havana Charter
    > pdf format (126 pages, 241 KB)

 

GATT 1947 back to top

Pending the entry into force of the Havana Charter, a mechanism was needed to implement and protect the tariff concessions negotiated in 1947. To do so, it was decided to take the Chapter on Commercial Policy of the Havana Charter and convert it, with certain additions, into the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. To bring the GATT into force quickly, a Protocol of Provisional Application was developed. Thus, the GATT was born. The GATT 1947 Agreement was brought into the Uruguay Round agreements by GATT 1994.

 

Tokyo Round codes back to top

The Tokyo Round negotiations (1973-1979) developed agreements on anti-dumping measures, government procurement, technical barriers to trade and other non-tariff measures which were known as “codes”.

  • Antidumping:
    • Agreement on Implementation of Article VI of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (Document code LT/TR/A/1)
      MS Word (19 pages, 123 KB)     > pdf (19 pages, 40 KB)
    • Agreement on Interpretation and Application of Articles VI, XVI and XXIII of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (Document code LT/TR/A/3)
      MS Word (30 pages, 176 KB)     > pdf (30 pages, 64 KB)
  • Balance-of-Payments: Declaration on Trade Measures (Document code LT/TR/DEC/1)
    MS Word (4 pages, 48 KB)     > pdf (4 pages, 11 KB)
  • Civil Aircraft:(Document code LT/TR/PLURI/1)
    MS Word (10 pages, 74 KB)     > pdf (10 pages, 22 KB)
  • Customs Valuation: Agreement on Implementation of Article VII of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (Document code LT/TR/A/2)
    MS Word (38 pages, 222 KB)     > pdf (38 pages, 76 KB)
  • Developing Countries:
    • Decision on Safeguard Action (Document code LT/TR/D/2)
      MS Word (2 pages, 33 KB)     > pdf (2 pages, 6 KB)
    • Decision on Differential and More Favourable Treatment (Document code LT/TR/D/1)
      MS Word (4 pages, 42 KB)     > pdf (4 pages, 10 KB)
  • Differential and more favourable treatment: Decision on Differential and More Favourable Treatment, Reciprocity and Fuller Participation of Developing Countries (Document code LT/TR/D/1)
    MS Word (4 pages, 42 KB)     > pdf (4 pages, 10 KB)
  • Dispute Settlement: (Document code LT/TR/U/1)
    MS Word (9 pages, 79 KB)     > pdf (9 pages, 24 KB)
  • Government Procurement: (Document code LT/TR/PLURI/2)
    MS Word (23 pages, 148 KB)     > pdf (23 pages, 50 KB) amended in 1987
  • Import Licensing: (Document code LT/TR/A/4)
    MS Word (8 pages, 64 KB)     > pdf (8 pages, 18 KB)
  • Safeguards: Decision on Safeguard Action for Development Purposes (Document code LT/TR/D/2)
    MS Word (2 pages, 33 KB)     > pdf (2 pages, 6 KB)
  • Subsidies: Agreement on Interpretation and Application of Articles VI, XVI and XXIII of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (Document code LT/TR/A/3)
    MS Word (30 pages, 176 KB)     > pdf (30 pages, 64 KB)
  • Technical Barriers to Trade: (Document code LT/TR/A/5)
    MS Word (26 pages, 153 KB)     > pdf (26 pages, 50 KB)
  • Arrangement regarding Bovine Meat (Document code LT/TR/PLURI/3)
    MS Word (7 pages, 62 KB)     > pdf (7 pages, 17 KB)
  • International Dairy Arrangement (Document code LT/TR/PLURI/4)
    MS Word (27 pages, 146 KB)     > pdf (27 pages, 52 KB)

  

Kennedy Round codes  back to top

The Kennedy Round negotiations (1964-67) produced an agreement, also known as a code, on multilateral rules for anti-dumping.

> pdf format (35 pages, 67 KB)

 

Other major legal instruments  back to top

  • Decision on differential and more favourable treatment, reciprocity and fuller participation of developing countries (Enabling clause) 1979
    > Browse text
    > pdf format (3 pages, 8 KB)