Maritime services is an area where negotiations were scheduled to improve on the commitments included in the initial Uruguay Round schedules of commitments. Negotiations were originally due to end in June 1996 but participants failed to agree on a package of commitments. Talks resumed when the new services round of negotiations started in 2000. Commitments already exist in some countries' schedules, covering the three main areas in this sector: access to and use of port facilities; auxiliary services; and ocean transport.
Current commitments and exemptions back to top
For consolidated information on countries’ commitments and exemptions on
maritime transport services go to the
If you are seeking the commitments of a specific WTO member, go
to “Jump to a specific sector for a given
Member”, select maritime 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 maritime transport
“See which Members have made commitments in a
specific sector”, select Maritime transport services
and click “go”.
Current negotiations back to top
The principles of the trade in maritime transport services are contained, as for all services, in the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). The specific regime for maritime transport services in the negotiations is defined by decision S/L/24.
Currently, maritime transport services, like all services, are included in the new services negotiations, which began in January 2000.
In November 2005, WTO members collectively identified their sectoral and modal objectives for negotiations on maritime transport.
Following the Hong Kong Ministerial
Conference Declaration of December 2005, two separate plurilateral requests were
prepared and addressed to targeted members.
These requests recommend the use of the so-called “maritime model schedule”. They call notably for the elimination of cargo reservations, of restrictions on foreign equity participation and on the right to establish a commercial presence both for international freight transport and for maritime auxiliary services. They also call for additional commitments on access to/use of port services and multimodal transport services as well as for the elimination of most-favoured nation (MFN) exemptions.
Official documents and background studies back to top