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1 July 1996

Negotiations on maritime transport services suspended until 2000

Negotiations to be resumed on the basis of existing or improved offers.

WTO member governments participating in the negotiations on maritime transport services agreed on Friday 28 June to suspend the negotiations and to resume them, on the basis of existing or improved offers, at the time of the further round of comprehensive negotiations on trade in services which is already mandated to begin in the year 2000.

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At the time of the suspension of the negotiations, 42 governments were participating (counting the European Communities and its member states as one) and conditional offers had been submitted by 24 of themSee footnote 1 during the talks which began in the spring of 1994 under the Chairmanship of Ambassador D. Kenyon of Australia.

The WTO member governments also agreed that members wishing to modify commitments in this sector dating from the Uruguay Round may do so up to the end of July 1996. Thereafter, governments have agreed not to apply any measures affecting trade in maritime transport services in such a manner as to improve their negotiating position and leverage, except in response to measures applied by other countries. Governments may, however, apply measures which maintain or improve the liberalization of maritime transport services.

Footnote: 1The following governments tabled offers: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, C˘te d'Ivoire, Cuba, Dominican Rep., EC & Member States, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Switzerland & Turkey.