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WTO NEWS: 2004 PRESS RELEASES

Press/376
4 May 2004
GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENT

WTO Agreement extended to the 10 new member States of the European Union

The WTO’s Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) was extended on 1 May 2004 to cover the 10 new member States of the European Union, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia.

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The WTO Committee on Government Procurement approved 23 April the necessary modifications to the EU schedules extending coverage of the GPA to the new member States of the European Union. The GPA is now legally binding for those countries. The extended GPA coverage offers new procurement opportunities to suppliers of goods and services in the 10 new EU countries as well as in the other GPA members.

The GPA contains a framework of rights and obligations concerning legislation, procedures and practices in the area of government procurement aimed at ensuring that members do not discriminate against the supplies and suppliers of other members in their government contracts. Its rules apply to the procurement by government entities that are listed for each member in an appendix to the Agreement. Under the recent decision of the GPA Committee, the covered entities of the new EU member States have been included into the Appendix of the European Communities as the WTO member representing the group of now 25 EU member States.

The decision of the Committee and the updated Appendix of the European Communities will be posted on the GPA-related part of the WTO website.

The membership of the GPA now consists of Canada; the European Communities (including its 25 member States); Hong Kong, China; Iceland; Israel; Japan; Korea; Liechtenstein; the Netherlands with respect to Aruba; Norway; Singapore; Switzerland and the United States.

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