27 October 2005

Transition period extended for export subsidies of developing countries

The WTO Committee on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (SCM Committee), on 27 October 2005, extended by another year (until end 2006) the transition period for the elimination of export subsidy programmes of 19 developing countries.

These countries are Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Fiji, Grenada, Guatemala, Jamaica, Jordan, Mauritius, Panama, Papua New Guinea, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Uruguay.

The Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures provides for an eight-year transition period (until end 2002) for most developing countries to eliminate export subsidies. Under procedures adopted in November 2001 at the Doha Ministerial Conference, the SCM Committee may grant annual extension to these countries until end 2007, subject to annual review of transparency and standstill obligations.

China Ś transition review

Under the transition review mechanism provided for in China's Protocol of Accession, Canada, the European Communities, Japan, Mexico and the United States expressed concerns about the compatibility of certain measures with the SCM Agreement and about the fact that China had not yet submitted a comprehensive notification of its subsidies as required by the SCM Agreement. China responded to written questions that had been posed by these delegations and indicated that it expected to be in a position to submit a notification of its subsidies in the very near future.

The next meeting of the Committee is scheduled for the week of 24 April 2006.