Moreover, some of these activities take place within a regulatory context
characterized by planning considerations and the need to provide a public or
universal service (urban public transport, passenger rail transport),
whereas others are clearly treated as purely market activities (pipelines,
freight transport by road and rail). The degree of concentration is also
extremely variable. Some activities are in the hands of monopolies or
oligopolies (pipelines, rail transport), while others may be carried
companies of various sizes or even by individuals (taxis, urban and suburban
road passenger transport, road haulage). In view of this diversity the
economic and regulatory characteristics can only be described subsector by
Land transport services in general are described in document
whereas aspects specific to rail transport are addressed in document
The description of road freight transport services has been recently updated, in document S/C/W/324 (coming soon).
In addition, in order to gain a better understanding of the
international road transport regulations, in 2009 the WTO Secretariat, the
International Transport Forum, the World Bank and the International Road
Transport Union made a systematic effort to collect bilateral road freight
transport agreements and have so far collected over 600. The text of these agreements is contained in the
LIBRA (List of Bilateral Road Agreements) database,
which is freely accessible to the general public.
Current commitments and exemptions back to top
For consolidated information on
countries’ commitments and exemptions on land transport, go to the services database. If you are seeking the commitments of a specific WTO member, go to “Jump to
a specific sector for a given Member”, select Road transport services from the
sector dropdown list, select the Member of interest and click “go”. To see a
table showing which Members have made commitments in Road transport services
choose “See which Members have made commitments in a specific sector”,
select Road transport services and click “go”.
Current negotiations back to top
The principles of the trade in land transport services are contained, as for all services, in the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).
Official documents back to top