Information about the organization



This page gathers key information on Estonia's negotiations to join the WTO.  Estonia became the 135th WTO Member on 13 November 1999. As of 1 May 2004 it is a member State of the European Union (more info). All EU member States are WTO members, as is the EU (until 30 November 2009 known officially in the WTO as the European Communities for legal reasons) in its own right.

> Page for Estonia as a Member





WTO accession process in brief



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Estonia's Timeline

I. Overview
GATT application received 10/03/1994  L/7421
GATT Accession Working Party established 23/03/1994  C/M/271
GATT Terms of reference & accession Working Party membership  06/04/1994  L/7437
WTO application received & WTO accession Working Party established 27/02/1995
  •  WT/L/50 (Request to transform the Working Party on the Accession of Estonia to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1947 into a WTO accession Working Party. As per document WT/L/50, the Working Party on the Accession of Estonia 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/L/50 also reproduced the name of the Chairperson and the terms of reference of the Working Party.)
WTO terms of reference & accession Working Party membership 21/11/1995  WT/ACC/EST/7   (+  revision)
updated 17/02/1997  WT/ACC/EST/14
Chairperson of the Accession Working Party   
1st 01/11/1995 Ambassador Donald KENYON (Australia)
Formal Meetings of the Working Party 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 25/11/1994
2nd 06/06/1995
3rd 14/11/1995 WT/ACC/EST/8
4th 28/03/1996 WT/ACC/EST/10
5th 18/09/1996
6th 11/02/1997
7th 24/03/1999
8th 07/04/1999
9th 24/04/1999
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
II. Multilateral Negotiations
Memorandum on the Foreign Trade Regime (MFTR)  28/03/1994  L/7423
Initial cycle(s) of Questions and Replies, following the circulation of the MFTR 13/10/1994  L/7529
02/11/1994  L/7529/Add.1
20/01/1995  L/7529/Add.2
23/05/1995  WT/ACC/EST/2
Factual Summary of Points Raised 
Additional Questions & Replies 21/08/1995  WT/ACC/EST/4
15/02/1996  WT/ACC/EST/9 (+  corrigendum)
28/03/1996  WT/ACC/EST/9/Rev.1
21/06/1996  WT/ACC/EST/11
28/08/1996  WT/ACC/EST/12
11/09/1996  WT/ACC/EST/12/Corr.1
03/09/1997  WT/ACC/SPEC/EST/3
Elements of a Draft Report of the Working Party  11/09/1996  WT/ACC/SPEC/EST/1
Draft Report of the Working Party  18/12/1996  WT/ACC/SPEC/EST/2  (+  revisions & corrigendum))
~updated 18/03/1999  WT/ACC/SPEC/EST/7  (+  revision)
Agriculture (WT/ACC/22/Add.1), including Questions and Replies  12/02/1999  WT/ACC/SPEC/EST/4
SPS Checklist (WT/ACC/22/Add.2
TBT Checklist (WT/ACC/22/Add.2
TRIPS Questionnaire (WT/ACC/22/Add.2
Import Licensing Procedures Questionnaire (WT/ACC/22 + revisions
Customs Valuation Checklist (WT/ACC/22 + revisions
State-Trading Questionnaire (WT/ACC/22 + revisions
Draft Subsidies Notification (WT/ACC/22/Add.2 03/09/1997  WT/ACC/EST/20
Comprehensive Legislative Action Plan (LAP) 
Rule-specific Action Plans 
Legislation and implementing regulations    Click for details Legislation notice Notified legislation
28/03/1994  L/7423
  •  Law on Taxation
  •  Property Law
  •  Law on State Duty
  •  Law on Leasing
  •  Law on Licence Tax
  •  Law on Personal Income Tax (Amended on 15/10/1991; 29/1/1992 and 24/8/1992)
  •  Law on the Economic Border
  •  Law on the Arbitration Court of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  •  Law on Foreign Investments
  •  Law on Value Added Tax
  •  Law on Corporate Income Tax
  •  Law on Land Reform
  •  Law on Fur Excise
  •  Decree No.1 On Confirming the Guidelines for the Application of Value Added Tax
  •  Law on Alcohol Excise (copy of the recently amended law) of 11/10/93
  •  Decree No. 92 On Organizing the Sale of Forest and Forest Products from Forests under the Administration of the State Forest Department
  •  Decree No. 112 Activities where establishment of enterprises with foreign capital of the participation of foreign investors in an established enterprise occurs on the basis of a foreign investment licence
  •  Foreign Currency Law (Amended on 26/1/1993)
  •  Currency Law
  •  Law on the Backing of the Estonian Kroon
  •  Law on Bankruptcy
  •  Estonian Constitution
  •  Law on Tobacco Excise
  •  Decree No. 238 On the Issue and Confirmation of Certificates of Origin of Goods
  •  Decree No. 243 On the Enactment of a State Monopoly on Alcohol and Tobacco
  •  Law on Trademark
  •  Decree No. 75 On Amendments to the Guidelines for the Application of Value Added Tax
  •  Decree No. 300 On Enactment of Border Control by the Plant Quarantine
  •  Law on Copyright
  •  Decree No. 53 On Organizing the Trade of Metal
  •  Decree No. 72 On Application of Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System
  •  Law on the Central Bank of the Republic of Estonia
  •  Law on Securities
  •  Law on Competition
  •  Law on Privatization
  •  Law on Fuel Excise
  •  Decree No. 231 Procedure on the Temporary Storage of Goods and the Customs Storage of Goods
  •  Customs Law
11/11/1994  L/7529/Add.1
  •  Law on Value Added Tax - Amended Version
  •  Law on Tobacco Excise Tax - New Version
  •  Patent Law
  •  Utility Model Law
  •  Statues of the Estonian Foreign Investment Agency
  •  Law on State Budget - Amended Version
  •  Law on Amending the Law on the Central Bank of the Republic of Estonia
  •  Law on Amending the Law on Taxation
  •  Law on Export and Transit of Strategic Goods
  •  Law on Taxation
  •  Income Tax Law
  •  Law on Land Tax
  •  Law on Amending the Customs Law
21/08/1995  WT/ACC/EST/5
  •  Law on Revenue Stamps of 10 March 1994
  •  Law on the State Border of 30 June 1994
  •  Law on Motor Vehicle Excise Tax of 8 February 1995
  •  Act on Customs Valuation (SG I 1995) of 8 February 1995
  •  Rules of Origin in Free-Trade Agreements with the European Union, the Ukraine and the Trilateral Free-Trade Agreement with Latvia and Lithuania
  •  Rules of Origin in Free-Trade Agreements with EFTA Countries (Norway and Switzerland)
  •  The Food Law of 9 February 1995
21/04/1995  WT/L/60
  •  Law on credit inistitutions
18/05/1995  WT/L/60/Add.1
  •  Draft law on Public Procurement
04/12/1996  WT/ACC/EST/13
  •  Commercial Code (consolidated on 12 June 1996)
  •  Packaging Act (entered into force on 26 May 1996)
  •  Medicinal Products Act (consolidated 15 October 1996)
  •  Law of Property Act (consolidated 8 October1996)
14/02/1997  WT/ACC/EST/15
  •  Law on Public Procurement (in force as of 1 January 1996)
  •  Public Procurement Amendment Act (in force as of 1 January 1997)
  •  Draft Law on Customs Tariffs
10/03/1997  WT/ACC/EST/16
  •  Restrictions on Transfer of Immovable Property Ownership to Aliens, Foreign States and Legal Persons Act
05/05/1997  WT/ACC/EST/18
  •  Unofficial translation of the Law on Amending the Law on the Alcohol Excise Tax
  •  Draft Competition Act
  •  Estonian legislation on the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights
  •  Estonian legislation on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures
  •  - Estonian legislation in the field of veterinary measures
  •  - Estonian draft legislation in the field of veterinary measures
  •  - Veterinary conditions for importing goods
  •  - Regulations for the import of plants and parts of plants to Estonia
  •  - Law of the Republic of Estonia on Veterinary Services
  •  - The Order of Registration for Veterinary Medicines
  •  - Veterinary conditions for importing goods to Estonia
09/10/1997  WT/ACC/EST/21
  •  Grains Act (8 June 1994)
22/01/1998  WT/ACC/EST/22
  •  Estonian Customs Tariff Act of 14 October 1997 which entered into force on 22 November 1997
05/11/1998  WT/ACC/EST/23
  •  Customs Act of 17 December 1997, consolidated on 13 May 1998
  •  Customs Tariff Act of 14 October 1997
  •  Trade Marks Act of 27 August 1992, consolidated on 17 December 1997
  •  Packaging Act of 3 May 1995, consolidated on 30 June 1997
  •  Industrial Design Protection Act of 18 November 1997
  •  Packaging Excise Duty Act of 19 December 1996
  •  Alcohol Excise Duty Act of 8 November 1995, consolidated on 15 April 1997
  •  Tobacco Excise Duty Act of 29 June 1994, consolidated on 22 October 1997
  •  Public Service Act of 25 January 1995
  •  Competition Act of 11 March 1998
  •  Draft Technical Regulations and Standards Act, last modified on 6 October 1998
  •  Estonian legislation on sanitary and phytosanitary measures as of October 1998 including the following legal acts in English
  •  - Animal Protection Act of 17 December1992, consolidated on 22 February 1998
  •  - Farm Animal Breeding Act of 25 June 1995, consolidated on 9 December 1997
  •  - Plant Variety Rights Act of 1 July 1998
  •  - Fertilizers Act of 1 July 1998
  •  - Organic Agriculture Act of 17 July 1997
11/02/1999  WT/ACC/EST/24
  •  Resolution No. 249 of 5 November 1998 - Approval of the Order for Issuing State Licence for Importing Foodstuffs into Estonia
  •  Copyright Act, Code of Administrative Offences, Criminal Code, Consumer Protection Act and Customs Act Amendment Act
  •  Explanatory Note to the Act Amending the Copyright Act, Code of Administrative Offences, Criminal Code, Consumer Protection Act and Customs Act
24/02/1999  WT/ACC/EST/26
  •  Plant Protection Act No. 332 of 1 January 1999
  •  Draft Technical Regulations and Standards Act of the Republic of Estonia
  •  Draft Order for Issuing State Licence for Importing Foodstuffs into Estonia
  •  Draft Veterinary Services Act
30/03/1999  WT/ACC/EST/27
  •  Draft Act Amending the Customs Valuation Act
Consultation documents    Click for details Consultation notice Notified consultation document
04/04/1995  WT/L/59
  •  Draft Schedule of Specific Commitments in Trade in Services submitted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Estonia
21/04/1995  WT/L/60
  •  Communication from Estonia including a note on services, intellectual property, foreign trade legislation and an initial offer for market access negotiations on goods
16/05/1995  WT/ACC/EST/1
  •  Check List of Documents
18/05/1995  WT/L/60/Add.1
  •  Information concerning the State duty on customs declarations and draft Law on Public Procurement
21/08/1995  WT/ACC/EST/5
  •  List of Annexes cited in the text of the "Additional Questions and Replies to the Memorandum on the Foreign Trade Rιgime
  •  Information on Implementation and Administration of the Customs Valuation Agreement
  •  Notifications contained in G/SPS/N/COUNTRY Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures
  •  Memorandum on the Export Control System in Estonia
  •  Economic and Trade Statistics
02/09/1996  WT/ACC/EST/1/Rev.1
  •  Check List of Documents
04/12/1997  WT/ACC/EST/13
  •  Privatization in Estonia (summary)
10/03/1997  WT/ACC/EST/16
  •  Information on the Estonian Innovation Foundation
  •  A comparison of the old and new version of the Food Act, concerning food control in Estonia
11/04/1997  WT/ACC/EST/17  Draft Notification
05/05/1997  WT/ACC/EST/18
  •  Information on Standardization in Estonia
30/05/1997  WT/ACC/EST/19  Information on national enquiry points
22/01/1998  WT/ACC/EST/22  Customs Tariff of Estonia
05/11/1998  WT/ACC/EST/23
  •  Information on standardization in Estonia as of July 1998
16/02/1999  WT/ACC/EST/25  Summary report on Privatization in Estonia 1993-1998
24/02/1999  WT/ACC/EST/26
  •  Harmonization of the TBT Notification Requirements in Estonia
25/02/1999  WT/ACC/SPEC/EST/5  (+  corrigenda)
  •  Preliminary list of concessions and commitments in services on a provisional basis
25/02/1999  WT/ACC/SPEC/EST/6 
  •  Preliminary List Agricultural Products
15/03/1999  WT/ACC/EST/7/Rev.1
  •  Working Party on the Accession of Estonia- Terms of Reference
III. Bilateral Market Access Negotiations 
Goods Offer(s)  21/08/1995  WT/ACC/EST/3
Services Offer(s)  21/08/1995  WT/ACC/EST/6
Register of Bilateral Market Access Agreements 
Draft Goods Schedule  19/03/1999  WT/ACC/SPEC/EST/7/Add.1
Draft Services Schedule  19/03/1999  WT/ACC/SPEC/EST/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 21/05/1999  WT/ACC/EST/29
Protocol of Accession  21/05/1999  WT/ACC/EST/30
Report of the Working Party 09/04/1999  WT/ACC/EST/28
Goods Schedule (Schedule of Concessions and Commitments Annexed to the GATT 1994)  06/04/1999  WT/ACC/EST/28/Add.1
Services Schedule (Schedule of Specific Commitments Annexed to the GATS)  07/04/1999  WT/ACC/EST/28/Add.2 (+  corrigendum)
VI. Accessions Commitments Database (ACDB) 
Specific Accession Commitments click on “Report by Member”, select “Estonia” 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 14/10/1999  WT/LET/313
VIII. Date of Membership
13/11/1999 135th Member  News item
IX. Since 1995, this is the…
7th economy that joined the WTO pursuant to Article XII of the Marrakesh Agreement.

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.