Information about the organization



This page gathers key information on the Kingdom of Tonga's negotiations to join the WTO.  The Kingdom of Tonga became the 151st WTO member on 27 July 2007.

> Page for Tonga as a Member





WTO accession process in brief



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Tonga's Timeline

I. Overview
Application received 11/08/1995  WT/ACC/TON/1
Accession Working Party established 15/11/1995  WT/GC/M/8
Terms of reference & accession Working Party membership  22/04/1996  WT/ACC/TON/2  + ( revisions & corrigendum)
Chairperson of the Accession Working Party     
1st 04/1996 - 12/2005 Mr Stuart HARBINSON (Hong Kong)
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 26/04/2001
2nd 18/11/2005
3rd 01/12/2005 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
II. Multilateral Negotiations
Memorandum on the Foreign Trade Regime (MFTR)  27/05/1998  WT/ACC/TON/3 (+  addendum)
Initial cycle(s) of Questions and Replies, following the circulation of the MFTR 03/11/2000  WT/ACC/TON/4 (+  addenda)
Factual Summary of Points Raised 
Additional Questions & Replies 03/11/2000  WT/ACC/TON/4/Add.1
12/02/2003  WT/ACC/TON/5
21/03/2005  WT/ACC/TON/11
21/03/2005  WT/ACC/TON/12
28/10/2005  WT/ACC/TON/15
28/10/2005  WT/ACC/TON/16
Elements of a Draft Report of the Working Party 
Draft Report of the Working Party  12/03/2003  WT/ACC/SPEC/TON/4  (+  revisions)
~ updated 17/11/2005  WT/ACC/SPEC/TON/8 
Agriculture (WT/ACC/22/Add.1), including Questions and Replies  19/04/2001  WT/ACC/SPEC/TON/3  (+  revisions)
SPS Checklist (WT/ACC/22/Add.2 03/05/2004  WT/ACC/TON/9  (+  revision);  WT/ACC/TON/13
TBT Checklist (WT/ACC/22/Add.2 21/07/2005  WT/ACC/TON/14 
TRIPS Questionnaire (WT/ACC/22/Add.2 12/02/2003  WT/ACC/TON/6 
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
Comprehensive Legislative Action Plan (LAP)  12/02/2003  WT/ACC/TON/7 
Rule-specific Action Plans  12/02/2003  WT/ACC/TON/6 (TRIPS) 
Legislation and implementing regulations    Click for details Legislation notice Notified legislation
29/05/1998  WT/ACC/TON/3/Add.1
  •  Act No. 15 of 21 September 1989 To Regulate Broadcasting and Matters Related Thereto
  •  Chapter 27 of the Companies Act of 1988
  •  Act No. 10 of 30 September 1987 to Amend the Copyright Act of 1985
  •  Act No. 3 of 24 June 1992 to Amend the Customs Duty and Excise Act (Cap. 67)
  •  Act No. 22 of 30 October 1991 To Regulate the Licensing and Supervision of Financial Institutions in Tonga and For Purposes Connected Therewith
  •  Acts Nos. 6 of 3 November 1964 and 3 of 1985 To Impose a Tax Upon Fuel Imported into the Kingdom and Sold by the Importer
  •  Act No. 16 of 31 March 1970 To Make Better Provision For the Control of Immigration
  •  Act No. 11 of 4 October 1982 To Amend the Industrial Development Incentives Act 1978
  •  Act No. 19 of 9 November 1994 To Provide For the Registration and Protection of Patents, Utility Model Certificates, Industrial Designs and Trade Marks
  •  Act No. 29 of 16 October 1987 To Amend the Intoxicating Liquor Act
  •  Act No. 21 of 18 October 1989 To Provide For Law Practitioners; For Their Professional Conduct and Discipline; For The Establishment of the Tonga Law Society and For Connected Purposes
  •  Act No. 20 of 2 November 1993 To Amend the Licences Act
  •  Act No. 15 of 15 August 1991 To Provide For a Comprehensive Health Service For Tonga
  •  Act No. 16 of 15 August 1991 To Require The Registration Before Practice of Medical, Dental, Nursing, Midwifery and Other Health Professions in Tonga
  •  Act No. 22 of 23 October 1990 To Amend the Port and Service Tax Act
  •  Act No. 3 of 8 September 1947 (as amended, 1950, 1956 and 1984) To Make Provision For Controlling the Prices of Goods and Services and Wage Rates
  •  Act No. 18 of 15 April 1928 (as amended, 1986 and 1988) Relating to Quarantine
  •  Act No. 3 of 1 July 1986 To Impose a Tax Upon Retail Sales of All Goods and Services in the Kingdom of Tonga
  •  Act No. 6 of 6 July 1927 (as amended, 1950, 1963, 1964, 1974, 1997 and 1988) To Impose Stamp Duties
  •  Act No. 9 of 24 October 1949 (as amended, 1950, 1951, 1956, 1957, 1960, 1962, 1974, 1975, 1981, 1983 and 1988) To Provide For the Establishment of the Tonga Electric Power Board For the Production, Control and Distribution of Electric Power Throughout the Kingdom and For Related Purposes
  •  Act No. 19 of 5 July 1977 (as amended, 1979, 1980 and 1990) To Control and Regulate Tourism by the Establishment of an Advisory Board and by the Introduction of a System of Licensing of Tourist Facilities and Matters Relative Thereto
  •  Act No. 13 of 7 August 1984 To Amend the Tonga Telecommunications Act, 1983
  •  Act No. 11 of 1 September 1981 To Amend the Wharves Act
  •  Water Board Act (Section 28) Water Supply (Amendment) Regulations 1992 (Tonga Government Gazette Supplement Extraordinary No. 5 of 5 June 1992
  •  Act No. 29 of 2 November 1992 To Deal with Public Health Services in Tonga
22/03/2002  WT/ACC/TON/4/Add.2
18/06/2002  WT/ACC/TON/4/Add.3
12/02/2003  WT/ACC/TON/5/Add.1
26/05/2003  WT/ACC/TON/8
01/10/2003  WT/ACC/TON/8/Add.1
23/09/2004  WT/ACC/TON/10
  •  Draft Foreign Investment Regulation 2002 (Foreign Investment Act 2002)
  •  Draft Business Licence Regulation 2002 (Business Licence Act 2002)
  •  Ports Authority (Overseas Vessels Tariff Fees) Standing Order 1999
21/03/2005  WT/ACC/TON/11/Add.1
21/03/2005  WT/ACC/TON/12/Add.1
06/04/2005  WT/ACC/TON/12/Add.2
20/07/2005  WT/ACC/TON/12/Add.3
28/10/2005  WT/ACC/TON/15/Add.1
Consultation documents    Click for details Consultation notice Notified consultation document
  22/03/2002  WT/ACC/TON/4/Add.2
  •  Pesticides – Information and Application Forms for Licenses, Registration and User Permits
  22/03/2002  WT/ACC/TON/4/Add.3
  •  Drafting Guidelines for Amendments to the Licences Act Cap. 47
  26/05/2003  WT/ACC/TON/8
  •  Tonga Harmonized Customs Tariff and Excise Schedule
  21/03/2005  WT/ACC/TON/11/Add.1
  •  Letter of Commitment on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures of 30 March 2004
III. Bilateral Market Access Negotiations 
Goods Offer(s)  19/04/2001  WT/ACC/SPEC/TON/1  (+  revision)
Services Offer(s)  19/04/2001  WT/ACC/SPEC/TON/2  (+  revisions)
23/06/2003  WT/ACC/SPEC/TON/5
Register of Bilateral Market Access Agreements 
Draft Goods Schedule  28/10/2005  WT/ACC/SPEC/TON/6 (File 1); (File 2)
~updated 30/10/2005  WT/ACC/SPEC/TON/7 (File 1); (File 2)  (+  corrigendum)
Draft Services Schedule  25/11/2005  WT/ACC/SPEC/TON/9  (+  corrigendum)
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 15/12/2005  WT/L/644
Protocol of Accession  15/12/2005  WT/L/644
Report of the Working Party 02/12/2005  WT/ACC/TON/17;  WT/MIN(05)/4
Goods Schedule (Schedule of Concessions and Commitments Annexed to the GATT 1994)  02/12/2005  WT/ACC/TON/17/Add.1; WT/MIN(05)/4/Add.1 (File 1, File 2)
Services Schedule (Schedule of Specific Commitments Annexed to the GATS)  02/12/2005  WT/ACC/TON/17/Add.2; WT/MIN(05)/4/Add.2
VI. Accessions Commitments Database (ACDB) 
Specific Accession Commitments click on “Report by Member”, select “Tonga” 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 27/06/2007  WT/LET/579
VIII. Date of Membership
  22/07/2007 151th Member  News item
IX. Since 1995, this is the…
23rd 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.