Ministers decide to
recommend that the Council for Trade in Services at its first meeting adopt the decision
set out below.
for Trade in Services,
the impact of regulatory measures relating to professional qualifications, technical
standards and licensing on the expansion of trade in professional services;
establish multilateral disciplines with a view to ensuring that, when specific commitments
are undertaken, such regulatory measures do not constitute unnecessary barriers to the
supply of professional services;
Decides as follows:
work programme foreseen in paragraph 4 of Article VI on Domestic Regulation should be
put into effect immediately. To this end, a Working Party on Professional Services shall
be established to examine and report, with recommendations, on the disciplines necessary
to ensure that measures relating to qualification requirements and procedures, technical
standards and licensing requirements in the field of professional services do not
constitute unnecessary barriers to trade.
2. As a
matter of priority, the Working Party shall make recommendations for the elaboration of
multilateral disciplines in the accountancy sector, so as to give operational effect to
specific commitments. In making these recommendations, the Working Party shall concentrate
multilateral disciplines relating to market access so as to ensure that domestic
regulatory requirements are: (i) based on objective and transparent criteria, such
as competence and the ability to supply the service; (ii) not more burdensome than
necessary to ensure the quality of the service, thereby facilitating the effective
liberalization of accountancy services;
use of international standards and, in doing so, it shall encourage the cooperation with
the relevant international organizations as defined under paragraph 5(b) of
Article VI, so as to give full effect to paragraph 5 of Article VII;
the effective application of paragraph 6 of Article VI of the Agreement by establishing
guidelines for the recognition of qualifications.
elaborating these disciplines, the Working Party shall take account of the importance of
the governmental and non-governmental bodies regulating professional services.