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Saudi Arabia

This page gathers key information on Saudi Arabia's negotiations to join the WTO.  Saudi Arabia became the 149th WTO member on 11 December 2005.

> Page for Saudi Arabia as a Member

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Saudi Arabia's Timeline

I. Overview
GATT application received 13/06/1993  L/7248
GATT Accession Working Party established 21/07/1993  C/M/265
GATT Terms of reference & accession Working Party membership 05/07/1994  L/7498
WTO application received & WTO accession Working Party established  21/12/1995
  •  WT/ACC/SAU/1 (Request to transform the Working Party on the Accession of Saudi Arabia to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1947 into a WTO accession Working Party. As per document WT/ACC/SAU/1 of 21 December 1995, the Working Party on the Accession of Saudi Arabia to the GATT 1947 was transformed into a WTO Accession Working Party, in accordance with the decision adopted by the General Council on 31 January 1995. Document WT/ACC/SAU/1 also reproduced the terms of reference of the Working Party.)
WTO terms of reference & accession Working Party membership  19/02/1996  WT/ACC/SAU/2  + ( revisions & corrigendum)
Chairperson of the Accession Working Party   
2nd 03/2002 - 10/2005 Ambassador Munir AKRAM (Pakistan)
1st 02/1996 - 02/2002 Ambassador John M. WEEKES (Canada)
Formal Meetings of the Working Party Date of the meeting Convening notice/fax Statement(s) by the Head of the Delegation Statement(s) by Working Party members Delegation list Other documents for the meeting News item
1st 02-03/05/1996
2nd 06 & 08/11/1996
3rd 29 & 30/05/1997
4th 02 & 04/12/1997
5th 17 & 19/11/1998
6th 22/09/1999
7th 03-04/04/2000
8th 17/10/2000
9th 23-24/10/2003
10th 24/02/2004
11th 29/04/2004
12th 16-17/06/2004
13th 11/10/2005
14th 28/10/2005 News item
Informal Meetings of the Working Party Date of the meeting Convening fax Statement(s) by the Head of the Delegation
Plurilateral Meetings Date of the meeting Convening fax Statement(s) by the Head of the Delegation
1 10/04/1997
2 16/02/1998 — 
3 15/02/2001 — 
4 19/10/2005 — 
II. Multilateral Negotiations
Memorandum on the Foreign Trade Regime (MFTR)  13/05/1996  WT/ACC/SAU/4 (+  addendum)
~supplementary 11/07/1996  WT/ACC/SAU/5
Initial cycle(s) of Questions and Replies, following the circulation of the MFTR 13/05/1996  WT/ACC/SAU/3
30/09/1996  WT/ACC/SAU/6
02/10/1996  WT/ACC/SAU/6/Add.1
01/10/1996  WT/ACC/SAU/6/Add.2
Factual Summary of Points Raised  29/10/1998 Informal circulation.
Additional Questions & Replies 30/10/1996  WT/ACC/SAU/6/Add.3 (+  corrigendum)
04/11/1996  WT/ACC/SAU/8
06/11/1996  WT/ACC/SAU/8/Corr.1
14/11/1996  WT/ACC/SAU/10
20/03/1997  WT/ACC/SAU/13
   WT/ACC/SAU/13/Rev.1
26/03/1997  WT/ACC/SAU/13/Add.1 (+  corrigendum)
23/09/1997  WT/ACC/SAU/23
24/09/1997  WT/ACC/SAU/29 (+  corrigenda)
02/10/1997  WT/ACC/SAU/29/Add.1
21/10/1997  WT/ACC/SAU/29/Add.2
24/11/1997  WT/ACC/SAU/29/Add.3
24/06/1997  WT/ACC/SAU/29/Add.4
14/07/1998  WT/ACC/SAU/35 (+  corrigendum)
04/04/2000  WT/ACC/SAU/44
20/06/2000  WT/ACC/SAU/46
05/10/2000  WT/ACC/SAU/47 (+  corrigendum)
Elements of a Draft Report of the Working Party 
Draft Report of the Working Party  11/01/2000  WT/ACC/SPEC/SAU/4  (+  revisions, corrigendum & addendum)
~mis ΰ jour 26/10/2005  WT/ACC/SPEC/SAU/7
Agriculture (WT/ACC/22/Add.1), including Questions and Replies  20/03/1997  WT/ACC/SPEC/SAU/1  (+  revisions, corrigenda & addenda)
Agriculture-specific Questions & Replies 06/10/2000  WT/ACC/SPEC/SAU/1/Rev.4/Add.1
SPS Checklist (WT/ACC/22/Add.2 21/05/1997  WT/ACC/SAU/17 
TBT Checklist (WT/ACC/22/Add.2 17/03/2004  WT/ACC/SAU/58
TRIPS Questionnaire (WT/ACC/22/Add.2 23/09/1997  WT/ACC/SAU/22
Import Licensing Procedures Questionnaire (WT/ACC/22 + revisions 24/09/1997  WT/ACC/SAU/30 
26/07/2005  WT/ACC/SAU/60 
Customs Valuation Checklist (WT/ACC/22 + revisions 21/05/1997  WT/ACC/SAU/18 
17/03/2004  WT/ACC/SAU/57 
State-Trading Questionnaire (WT/ACC/22 + revisions
Draft Subsidies Notification (WT/ACC/22/Add.2
Legislative Action Plan (LAP) 
Rule-specific Action Plans  16/10/1998  WT/ACC/SAU/38 (+  revision) (Customs valuation)
27/10/1998  WT/ACC/SAU/39 (+  corrigendum) (IP-specific)
24/06/1999  WT/ACC/SAU/40 (Import Licensing Agreement)
24/06/1999  WT/ACC/SAU/41 (TBT)
24/06/1999  WT/ACC/SAU/42 (SPS)
24/06/1999  WT/ACC/SAU/43 (+  corrigendum) (TRIPS)
Legislation and implementing regulations    Click for details Legislation notice Notified legislation
13/12/1994  L/7489/Add.1
  •  Customs Law of 1952
  •  Law for the Protection and Encouragement of National Industries of 23/12/1381H
  •  Trade Marks Regulations of 7/1/1984
  •  The Patents Law of 10/6/1409H
  •  The Law for the Protection of Copyrights
  •  Law and Regulations for Commercial Agencies of 1961-81
30/10/1995  L/7645
  •  Decree No142 :General Objectives and Strategic Principles of the Sixth Development Plan (2A)
  •  Law for the Protection and Encouragement of National Industry (3A)
  •  Saudi Industrial Development Fund Law(3B)
  •  Investment of Foreign Capital Regulation (3C)
  •  Rules for the Coordination of Industrial Establishments in the Gulf Cooperation Council States (3D)
  •  Banks Control Law (articles 1-4) (5A)
  •  Ministerial Resolution by the Ministry of Communications concerning Applications for Licences by Maritime Companies and Firms for Carrying on Maritime Carriage (Articles 1-7) (5B)
  •  Ministerial Resolution No.4104/20/M concerning the Implementation of Regulations to the Private Medical Establishments Law (art.1-2) (5C)
  •  Implementing Regulations to Regulation of Technical Institutes and National Occupational Centres (art.1-9) (5D)
  •  Resolution from His Royal Highness the Minister of Defence and Aviation concerning the Regulation of Tourism and Travel Agencies and Companies engaged in Air Transport (5E)
  •  Law of Certified Accountants (articles1-2) and Ministerial Order No.595 Enacting the Implementing Regulations of the Accountants Law. (5H)
  •  Law concerning the Carrying on of the Profession of Pharmacy and Trading in Medicaments and Medical Preparations art(1.5) (5I)
  •  Customs Law and Implementing Regulations (8) and Amendments to Customs Regulations and Rules of Implementation
  •  Royal Decree M/10 and Council of Ministers Resolution No172 (10A)
  •  Government Purchases Law and Implementing Regulations (11A)
  •  Council of Ministers Resolution 124 (11B)
  •  Standard Rules for Giving Priority in Government Purchases to National Products and Products of National Origin Of Gulf Cooperation Council States (11C)
  •  Companies Law (12A)
  •  Ministerial Order No.1502
  •  Trade Marks Law (13A)
  •  Patent Law (13B)
  •  Copyright Law (13C)
  •  Law of Commercial Agencies and Implementing Regulations (14)
  •  Law of Arbitration and Implementing Regulations of the Law of Arbitration (15)
07/05/2001  WT/ACC/SAU/51
  •  The Foreign Investment Act Statute for the General Investment Authority and Its Executive Rules
04/07/2003  WT/ACC/SAU/55
  •  Organization of the Saudi Commission on Industrial Cities and Technology Parks, (Decision No. 235 dated 27/8/1422H)
  •  Organization of the Commission on Restructuring Electric Services, (Decision No. 236 dated 27/8/1422H)
  •  Private Laboratories Law, (Decision No. 29 dated 25/1/1423H)
  •  Organization of the Saudi Post Agency, (Decision No. 78 dated 9/3/1423H)
  •  GCC Money Laundry Unified Indicative Law, (Decision No. 275 dated 2/12/1423H)
  •  Animal Resources Law, (Decision No. 46 dated 19/2/1424H)
  •  Law of Property Ownership and Property Investment for Non-Saudis, (Decision No. 89 dated 8/4/1421H)
  •  Accession of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade (1998), (Decision No. 124 dated 21/5/1421H)
  •  Press and Publication Law, (Decision No. 211 dated 1/9/1421H)
  •  Nullification of the Law Governing the Relationship between Foreign Entrepreneurs and their Saudi Agent, (Decision No. 142 dated 9/5/1422H)
  •  Legal Practice Law, (Decision No. 199 dated 14/7/1422H)
  •  Commercial Information Law, (Decision No. 94 dated 13/4/1423H)
  •  Trademarks Law (Decision No. 140 dated 26/5/1423H)
  •  Copyright Law, (Decision dated 9/4/1424H)
22/10/2003  WT/ACC/SAU/56
17/03/2004  WT/ACC/SAU/59
02/08/2004  WT/ACC/SAU/59/Add.1
  •  Royal Order No. A/91 "The Basic Law of Governance" of March 1992
  •  Royal Order No. A/191 "The Law of the Shura Council" of March 1992
  •  Royal Order No. A/13 "The Law of the Council of Ministers" of August 1993
  •  Royal Decree No. M/1 "The Law of Commercial Register" of 17 July 1995
  •  Council of Ministers Resolution No. 88 "Import Licensing Procedures" of 06.04.1423H
  •  Council of Ministers Resolution No. 84 "Import Licensing Guide" of 01.04.1421H
  •  Royal Decree No. M/11 "Combat of Commercial Fraud Law" dated 29/5/1404H
  •  Royal Decree No. M/37 "The Negotiable Instruments Law" of 11/10/1383H
  •  Royal Decree No. M/15 "The Law of Trade Names" of 20 November 1999
  •  Ministerial Resolution No. 2015 "Trade Names Implementing Regulations" dated 20.12.1420H
  •  Resolution 11 "The Functions of the Board of Grievance's Circuits" of 11/1406H
  •  Council of Ministers Resolution No. 16 "Professional Companies Law" dated 16/2/1412H
  •  Telecommunications Act
  •  Royal Decree No. M/21 "Labor and Workmen Law" of 6/9/1389
  •  GCC Patent Law
  •  GCC Unified Economic Agreement
  •  Royal Decree No. M/46 "Arbitration Law" of 12/7/1403H
  •  Royal Decree No. M/3 "The Law of Private Laboratories" of 21 April 2002
  •  The List of Utilities, Economic Activites and Services to be Privatized issued by Council of Ministers Decision No. 219 dated 11 November 2002
  •  Royal Order No. 7/B/16941 of 15 March 1997 Saudi Ports Authority Public Tender
  •  The Veterinary Quarantine Law in the Cooperatin Council for the Arab States of the Gulf of 2003 and The Council of Ministers Decision No. 109 dated 30/4/1424H (Quarantine Law)
04/08/2004  WT/ACC/SAU/59/Add.2
18/08/2004  WT/ACC/SAU/59/Add.3
25/08/2004  WT/ACC/SAU/59/Add.4
27/07/2005  WT/ACC/SAU/59/Add.5
29/07/2005  WT/ACC/SAU/59/Add.6
Consultation documents    Click for details Consultation notice Notified consultation document
13/12/1994  L/7489/Add.1
  •  Customs Tariff Schedule of June, 1994
  •  Guide to the Licensing of Foreign Investment in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia of 1992
13/12/1994  L/7645
  •  Import Statistics (1A)
  •  Non-Oil Exports To Gulf Cooperation Council States (1B)
  •  The Fifth Development Plan (2B)
  •  Foreign Investment by Sector (4A)
  •  Recent Foreign Investments Granted Licences (4B)
  •  Saudi Industrial Development Funds Loans (4C)
  •  Saudi Agriculture Bank Loans (4D)
  •  Agricultural Subsidies Disbursed through the Agriculture Bank (4E)
  •  Tariff Rate Schedule (6)
  •  Specific and Mixed Duties (7A)
  •  Imports Subject to 20 per cent Duty (7B)
  •  Imports Subject to 30 per cent Duty (7C)
  •  Banned Items (7D)
  •  SASO Standards No 457 and 702 (10B)
  •  List of Saudi Standards (1-802) (10C)
  •  Replies by Saudi Arabia to the Questionnaire on Import Licencing Procedures (document L/5640) (16)
22/05/1996  WTO/AIR/330/Add.1
  •  Import Statistics 1994
  •  Export Statistics 1994
  •  The Quarterly Statistics Bulletin for 1995 (4th Qtr.)
02/10/1996  WT/ACC/SAU/6/Add.1
14/10/1996  WT/ACC/SAU/7
06/11/1996  WT/ACC/SAU/9
  •  Information Concerning the International Conformity Certificate Programme
29/11/1996  WT/ACC/SAU/11
  •  Communication on the Sixth Development Plan 1995-2000 A.D. (1415-1420 A.H.)
18/12/1996  WT/ACC/SAU/12
  •  Communication on the Sixth Development Plan 1995-2000 A.D. (1415-1420 A.H.)
18/03/1997  WT/ACC/SAU/14
  •  Submission of documentation on the Accession of Saudi Arabia
24/03/1997  WT/ACC/SAU/14/Add.1
  •  Submission of additional documentation on the Accession of Saudi Arabia
14/04/1997  WT/ACC/SAU/15
  •  Information concerning the ICCP
20/05/1997  WT/ACC/SAU/16
  •  Questions and Replies concerning the revised Draft ICCP Comprehensive Procedures and Guidelines
23/05/1997  WT/ACC/SAU/19
  •  Note on Agriculture
26/05/1997  WT/ACC/SAU/20
  •  Checklist of Documents
26/05/1997  WT/ACC/SAU/21
  •  Communication in response to additional comments, proposals and questions submitted by members of the Working Party concerning the draft ICCP Comprehensive Procedures and Guidelines
23/09/1997  WT/ACC/SAU/22
  •  Background paper on TRIPs
23/09/1997  WT/ACC/SAU/24
  •  Information on Measures affecting Trade in Services
23/09/1997  WT/ACC/SAU/25
  •  Information on Measures affecting Trade in Services
23/09/1997  WT/ACC/SAU/26
  •  Information on the conformity of Saudi Arabia's ICCP with WTO rules and regulations
23/09/1997  WT/ACC/SAU/27
  •  Information on the shelf life of Food Products
23/09/1997  WT/ACC/SAU/28
  •  Proposals on flexibility
11/11/1997  WT/ACC/SAU/31
  •  Checklist of Documents
04/11/1998  WT/ACC/SAU/31/Rev.1
  •  Checklist of Documents
17/09/1999  WT/ACC/SAU/31/Rev.2
  •  Checklist of Documents
08/03/2000  WT/ACC/SAU/31/Rev.3
  •  Checklist of Documents
30/03/2000  WT/ACC/SAU/31/Rev.4
  •  Checklist of Documents
10/10/2000  WT/ACC/SAU/31/Rev.5
  •  Checklist of Documents
14/11/1997  WT/ACC/SAU/32
  •  Customs Tariff of 1 June 1994
14/05/1998  WT/ACC/SAU/32/Rev.1
  •  Customs Tariff
20/02/1998  WT/ACC/SAU/33
  •  Foreign Trade Statistics
16/06/1998  WT/ACC/SAU/34
  •  Information on Saudi Arabia's Standards
05/08/1998  WT/ACC/SAU/36
  •  Information concerning the International Conformity Certification Program
17/09/1998  WT/ACC/SAU/37
  •  Submission of an improved text of Comprehensive Procedures and Guidelines of the International Conformity Certification Program (ICCP) for exporting countries
20/04/2000  WT/ACC/SAU/45
  •  Position paper on the International Conformity Certification Program (ICCP)
19/01/2001  WT/ACC/SAU/48
  •  Information on Technical Directive
19/01/2001  WT/ACC/SAU/49
  •  Decisions on Import Licensing Procedures and SPS
01/03/2001  WT/ACC/SAU/50
  •  The "Negative List" of the Industrial sectors and Services sectors which are excluded from Foreign Investment in the Kingdom
03/08/2001  WT/ACC/SAU/52 (+  corrigendum)
  •  Latest revised Regulated Products List of the International Conformity Certification Program (ICCP) Comprehensive Procedures and Guidelines
24/07/2002  WT/ACC/SAU/53
  •  Council of Minister's Decision No. 88 dated 17 June 2002 regarding implementing regulations of Import Licensing Procedures in Saudi Arabia
04/04/2003  WT/ACC/SAU/54
  •  Information on the Highlights of Economic Reform and Restructuring in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (March 2003)
02/08/2004  WT/ACC/SAU/59/Add.1
  •  The General Objectives of the Seventh Development Plan Strategy (1420/1421-1424/1425H)
  •  GCC Common External Tariff
  •  SASO 672, GS 144/1991 "Motor Vehicles – Allowable Limits of Gaseous Pollutants Emitted to the Atmosphere from Heavy Duty Diesel Engined Vehicles"
  •  SASO 674, GS 145/1991 "Motor Vehicles – Methods of Testing Gaseous Pollutants Emitted to the Atmosphere from Heavy Duty Diesel Engined Vehicles – Part 1: Determination of Exhaust Gaseous Pollutants"
  •  SASO 674, GS 146/1991 "Motor Vehicles – Methods of Testing Gaseous Pollutants Emitted to the Atmosphere from Heavy Duty Diesel Engined Vehicles – Part 2: Determination of Smoke Density"
  •  The List of Utilities, Economic Activites and Services to be Privatized issued by Council of Ministers Decision No. 219 dated 11 November 2002
  •  SASO Technical Journal, First Edition, April 2004
  •  SASO Part II: List of Saudi Standards
  •  SASO Part VI: International Standards Adopted as Saudi Standards
  •  SASO Part VII: Dates of Approval, Publishing and Enforcement of the Saudi Standards
02/08/2004  WT/ACC/SAU/59/Add.5
III. Bilateral Market Access Negotiations 
Goods Offer(s)  24/09/1997  WT/ACC/SPEC/SAU/2  (+  revisions)
Services Offer(s)  24/09/1997  WT/ACC/SPEC/SAU/3  (+  revisions & corrigenda)
Register of Bilateral Market Access Agreements 
Draft Goods Schedule  23/09/2005  WT/ACC/SPEC/SAU/6 (File 1); (File 2)
~rιvisι 26/10/2005  WT/ACC/SPEC/SAU/7/Add.1 (File 1); (File 2) (+  corrigendum)
Draft Services Schedule  20/09/2005  WT/ACC/SPEC/SAU/5 
~rιvisι 26/10/2005  WT/ACC/SPEC/SAU/7/Add.2
Goods and Services Technical Verification Meetings 
IV. Summary of Final Meeting of the Working Party
V. Accession Package (“Terms of Accession”, de-restricted) 
Ministerial Conference/General Council Decision on the Accession 11/11/2005  WT/L/627
Protocol of Accession  11/11/2005  WT/L/627
Report of the Working Party 01/11/2005  WT/ACC/SAU/61
Goods Schedule (Schedule of Concessions and Commitments Annexed to the GATT 1994)  01/11/2005  WT/ACC/SAU/61/Add.1 (File 1); (File 2)
Services Schedule (Schedule of Specific Commitments Annexed to the GATS)  01/11/2005  WT/ACC/SAU/61/Add.2
VI. Accessions Commitments Database (ACDB) 
Specific Accession Commitments   http://acdb.wto.org/ click on “Report by Member”, select “Saudi Arabia ” in drop down list then click on “View Report”
VII. Instrument of Acceptance 
Notification of Acceptance and Entry Into Force of the Protocol of Accession 11/11/2005  WT/LET/503
VIII. Date of Membership
  11/12/2005 149th Member News item
IX. Since 1995, this is the…
21st economy that joined the WTO pursuant to Article XII of the Marrakesh Agreement.

Note:
The de-restriction of documents is a key component of the transparency obligations of the Multilateral Trading System.  Paragraphs 1 and 2(e) of the Ministerial Council Decision WT/L/452 of 14 May 2002 provide that “documents relating to working parties on accession shall be restricted and shall be automatically de-restricted upon the adoption of the report of the working party” by the Ministerial Conference/General Council.  The time of completion of the de-restriction process depends on the amount and complexities of the documents involved.  Prior to 2002, the de-restriction of accession-related documents was governed by a different set of rules (i.e. General Council Decision WT/L/160/Rev.1 of 26 July 1996), which only affect documents circulated prior to 2002.