Topics handled by WTO committees and agreements
Issues covered by the WTO’s committees and agreements


GATS negotiations on services procurement

Pursuant to Article XIII:1 of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), government procurement is exempt from the main market access provisions of that Agreement. Nevertheless, Article XIII:2 of GATS establishes a multilateral negotiating mandate on services procurement. The negotiations under Article XIII:2 of GATS have taken place in the multilateral Working Party on GATS Rules (WPGR), established by the Council for Trade in Services in 1995.

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The Mandate    back to top

GATS Article XIII says:

Government Procurement

GATS Article XIII: 1. — Articles II, XVI and XVII shall not apply to laws, regulations or requirements governing the procurement by governmental agencies of services purchased for governmental purposes and not a view to commercial resale or with a view to use in the supply of services for commercial sale.

GATS Article XIII: 2. — There shall be multilateral negotiations on government procurement in services under this Agreement within two years from the date of entry into force of the WTO Agreement.


WPGR Documents    back to top

Search Documents Online
Documents of the working party on GATS Rules in government procurement bear the document code S/WPGR/* (where * takes additional values).
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help with downloading these documents

  • Annual reports of the Working party to the Council for Trade in Services (Document code WT/WPGR/* and Title "varies")     > search

  • Minutes of the meetings of the working party (searches for document code S/WPGR/M/*)    > search

  • Working documents of the working party (Document code S/WPGR/W/*)
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You can perform more sophisticated searches from the Documents Online search facility by defining multiple search criteria such as document symbol (i.e. code number), notification number, requirement subject, trade coverage, full text search or document date.

Documents of particular interest include:

- a note by the WTO Secretariat providing an overview of government procurement-related provisions in economic integration agreements;


- an expanded note by the WTO Secretariat on government procurement-related provisions in economic integration agreements;


- a note by the WTO Secretariat on main approaches to the undertaking of commitments on government procurement in economic integration agreements; and

- a report by the Chairperson of the Working Party on GATS Rules, dated June 2003, on negotiations on government procurement, comprising thematic tables of the main relevant documents prepared up to the issuance of the report.

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