“A significant part of the negotiating mandate has been achieved
today,” said Dr Supachai Panitchpakdi, Chairman of the Trade
Negotiations Committee which supervises the DDA. “This agreement
should inject new dynamism not only in the services negotiations but
also in other areas of the Doha Agenda”.
Alejandro Jara of Chile, Chairman of the Special Session,
congratulated the negotiators for successfully concluding an important
part of their negotiating mandate. “Their timely display of
flexibility and political will gives further momentum in the current
process of request-and-offer talks. By establishing agreed criteria
for granting credit for autonomous liberalization, negotiators can
engage more confidently in their bilateral bargaining for specific
commitments on market access”.
for the treatment of autonomous liberalization back to top
by the Special Session of the Council for Trade in Services on 6 March
These modalities for the treatment of autonomous liberalization
measures undertaken by a Member since previous negotiations are
established pursuant to
XIX:3 of the GATS,
paragraph 15 of the Doha Ministerial Declaration (WT/MIN(01)/DEC/1), and paragraph
13 of the Guidelines and Procedures for the Negotiations on Trade in
Services (S/L/93) (Word
For the purposes of these modalities, a “liberalizing Member” is a
Member seeking credit for an autonomous liberalization measure; and a
“trading partner” is a Member from whom credit is being sought.
An “autonomous liberalization measure” is a measure
subject to scheduling under Part III of the GATS, and/or leading
to the termination of an MFN exemption,
(b) compatible with the MFN principle,
(c) undertaken by the liberalizing Member
unilaterally, since previous negotiations, in accordance with
Article XIX of the GATS, and
(d) applicable to any or all service sectors.
Criteria for assessing the value of autonomous liberalization measures
In assessing the value of an autonomous liberalization measure, a
Member may use the following illustrative criteria:
(b) liberalizing nature of the measure concerned
(e.g. elimination of measures restricting market access;
elimination of existing measures which are inconsistent with
national treatment and/or MFN),
(c) the date of entry into force and the duration of
(d) share of the sector in the total trade of the
(e) share of the trading partner in the total trade in
the sector autonomously liberalized by the liberalizing Member,
(f) importance and impact of the autonomous
liberalization measures on the liberalizing Member’s economy,
(g) market potential in the liberalizing Member for
the trading partner,
(h) opportunities for the expansion of foreign
participation in the sector after the introduction of the measure,
(i) whether the measure in question has already been
scheduled and, if not, whether the liberalizing Member is willing
to do so.
To facilitate the assessment of the value of an autonomous
liberalization measure, the liberalizing Member and its trading
partner may agree to use either a qualitative or a quantitative
approach (for example, formulae, improvement indices, ranking
methods), or a combination of both approaches.
In assessing the value of credits, a Member may use the criteria and
approaches set out in paragraphs 4 and 5 above, as appropriate.
In applying the above approaches and criteria, a Member shall take
into account the level of development and the size of economies of
individual Members, both overall and in individual sectors.
The application of these modalities may be advanced bilaterally,
plurilaterally, or multilaterally. The granting of credit for
autonomous liberalization measures shall be advanced through bilateral
A liberalizing Member shall make the autonomous liberalization measure
for which credit is being sought known to its trading partner. The
liberalizing Member may, if it deems it appropriate, also notify such
a measure to the Special Session of the Council for Trade in Services.
It is understood that such a notification neither guarantees any right
for credit, nor implies any obligation on the part of the liberalizing
Member to bind the notified measure.
An autonomous liberalization measure notified or made known to a
trading partner should contain information based on the relevant
criteria set out in Part II of these modalities, and specify the
credit being sought. The credit to be sought may take the form of,
a liberalization measure to be undertaken by a trading partner in
sectors of interest to the liberalizing Member under the GATS,
(b) refraining from pursuing a request addressed to
the liberalizing Member, or
(c) any other form which the liberalizing Member and
its trading partner may agree upon.
A liberalizing Member claiming credit for an autonomous liberalization
measure shall be given adequate opportunity to discuss its request
with its trading partner. If the trading partner considers that an
autonomous liberalization measure is of little or no trading value, it
should provide information on the evaluation as early as possible to
allow time for the liberalizing Member to request further
Any Member may bring to the attention of the Special Session of the
Council for Trade in Services any matter that relates to the
application of these modalities.
Pursuant to the objectives of the GATS, as stipulated in the Preamble,
and Article XIX:2,
and in line with
paragraph 2 of the Doha Ministerial Declaration, these modalities shall be
used inter alia as a means of promoting the economic growth and
development of developing countries and their increasing participation
in trade in services.
In the application of these modalities, and in recognizing and
granting credit pursuant to these modalities, Members shall take fully
into account the flexibility provided for individual developing
country Members under the provisions referred to in paragraph 13
above, as well as the level of development of developing country
Members in relation to other Members. Special consideration shall be
given to the least-developed country Members.