Information about the organization



This page gathers key information on Vanuatu's negotiations to join the WTO.  Vanuatu became the 157th WTO Member on 24 August 2012.

> Page for Vanuatu as a Member





WTO accession process in brief



More photos

Problems viewing this page? If so, please contact [email protected] giving details of the operating system and web browser you are using.

Vanuatu's Timeline

I. Overview
Application received 07/06/1995  WT/ACC/VUT/1
Accession Working Party established 11/07/1995  WT/GC/M/5
Terms of reference & accession Working Party membership  23/04/1996  WT/ACC/VUT/3  + ( revisions & corrigenda)
Chairperson of the Accession Working Party     
  •  Under the authority of the Chairperson of the General Council, the WTO Secretariat chaired an open-ended re-convened Working Party meeting on the Accession of Vanuatu in 2011
1st 07/1996 — 10/ 2001  Ambassador Saodah B.A. SYAHRUDDIN (Indonesia)
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 03/07/1996 —
2nd 02/05/2011 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)  30/11/1995  WT/ACC/VUT/2
Initial cycle(s) of Questions and Replies, following the circulation of the MFTR 09/05/1996  WT/ACC/VUT/4
13/05/1996  WT/ACC/VUT/4/Add.1
27/10/1997  WT/ACC/VUT/6
11/05/1998  WT/ACC/VUT/7 (+  addendum and corrigendum)
Factual Summary of Points Raised 
Additional Questions & Replies
Elements of a Draft Report of the Working Party 
Draft Report of the Working Party  22/09/1999  WT/ACC/SPEC/VUT/7 
~revised 03/11/2010  WT/ACC/SPEC/VUT/8  (+  revision & addenda)
~revised 16/10/2001  WT/ACC/VUT/13  (+  addenda)
~revised 11/05/2011  WT/ACC/VUT/16
Agriculture (WT/ACC/22/Add.1), including Questions and Replies  22/09/1999  WT/ACC/SPEC/VUT/6  (+  revisions)
SPS Checklist (WT/ACC/22/Add.2
TBT Checklist (WT/ACC/22/Add.2 16/03/2001  WT/ACC/VUT/10
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
Comprehensive Legislative Action Plan (LAP)  03/11/2010  WT/ACC/VUT/15  (+  revision)
Rule-specific Action Plans 
Legislation and implementing regulations    Click for details Legislation notice Notified legislation
11/05/1998  WT/ACC/VUT/7/Add.1
  •  Plant Protection Act No. 14 of 1997
  •  Bill for the Vanuatu Foreign Investment Board and Related Amendments to Business Licence Act, Work Permits Act and Immigration Act
  •  Bill for Immigration (Amendment) Act
  •  Bill for the Labour (Work Permits)(Amendment) Act
  •  Bill for the Business Licences (Amendment) Act
  •  Bill for the Leadership Code Act
  •  Draft Value-Added Tax Bill
  •  Draft HS96 Customs Tariff
  •  Proposed Applied Tariff Rates
  •  Summary of Proposed Tariff Changes as a result of the Introduction of Value-Added Tax
26/11/1998  WT/ACC/VUT/8
22/09/1999  WT/ACC/VUT/9
30/09/1999  WT/ACC/VUT/9/Add.1
15/10/1999  WT/ACC/VUT/9/Add.2
15/02/2001  WT/ACC/VUT/9/Add.3
  •  Customs Act No. 15 of 1999
  •  Bill for the Import Duties (Consolidation) (Customs Valuation Amendment) Act No. 8 of 1999
18/06/2001  WT/ACC/VUT/9/Add.4
10/10/2001  WT/ACC/VUT/9/Add.6
12/10/1999  WT/ACC/VUT/11
  •  Foreign Investment (Amendment) Act No. 1 of 1999
  •  Bill for the Business Licence Act No. 19 of 1998
  •  Bill for the Customs Act No. – of 1999
  •  The Duty Exemption Policy and application form for exemption of customs duty
  •  Import of Goods (Miscellaneous Control) (Repeal) Order No. 13 of 1999
  •  Bill for the Import Duties (Consolidation) (Customs Valuation Amendment) Act No. – of 1999
  •  Bill for the Value Added Tax Act No. 12 of 1998 and Explanatory Note
  •  Independent Assessment of Vanuatu Quarantine and Inspection Services (31 August 1999)
  •  Animal Importation and Quarantine Act (Cap.201), Revised Edition 1988 and Regulations under the Act
  •  Decision Pathway for Pest Risk Assessment for Pacific Island Countries
  •  Plant Protection Act No. 14 of 1997 and Manual for its implementation dated 30 September 1997
  •  Bill for the Copyright Act No. – of 1999 (draft as at 28 August 1999)
  •  Harmonised Custom Tariff 1996
03/11/2010  WT/ACC/VUT/14
25/11/2010  WT/ACC/VUT/14/Add.1
26/11/2010  WT/ACC/VUT/14/Add.2
15/03/2011  WT/ACC/VUT/14/Add.3
27/04/2011  WT/ACC/VUT/14/Add.6
02/05/2011  WT/ACC/VUT/14/Add.7
Consultation documents    Click for details Consultation notice Notified consultation document
10/07/1996  WT/ACC/SPEC/VUT/1
  •  General statement by Honourable Sela Molisa, Minister for Industries, Trade and Commerce on the occasion of the first formal meeting of the Working Party on the Accession of Vanuatu to the World Trade Organization
25/05/1998  WT/ACC/SPEC/VUT/4
  •  Statement by the Honourable James Bule, Minister of Trade and Business Development, at the Informal Meeting of the Working Party on the Accession of Vanuatu to the WTO held on 11 May 1998
11/05/1998  WT/ACC/VUT/7/Add.1
  •  Proposed Applied Tariff Rates
  •  Summary of Proposed Tariff Changes as a result of the Introduction of Value-Added Tax
12/10/1999  WT/ACC/VUT/11
  •  Schedules setting out quarantine requirements for the importation of selected products into Vanuatu: No. 45, goats from Australia, No. 46, caprine embryos from the Republic of South Africa; and No. 47, bovine embryos from USA
  •  Conditions for Vessels Carrying Live Animals
  •  Vanuatu Quarantine and Inspection Services – Import Documentation
03/09/1998  WT/ACC/SPEC/VUT/5
  •  Communication from the Department of Trade, Industry and Investment of the Government of the Republic of Vanuatu
29/05/1996  WT/ACC/VUT/5
  •  Checklist of documents
12/10/2001  WT/ACC/VUT/9/Add.5
  •  Communication from the Government of the Republic of Vanuatu concerning the establishment of TBT and SPS enquiry points
15/04/2011  WT/ACC/VUT/14/Add.4
  •  Compendium of Legislation
21/04/2011  WT/ACC/VUT/14/Add.5
  •  Compendium of Legislation
09/11/1999  WT/ACC/VUT/12 (+  addendum)
  •  Complete accession package consisting of proposals for the report of the Working Party, a draft Decision and Protocol, Goods Schedule and Services Schedule
19/07/2011  WT/ACC/VUT/18
  •  Letter from Deputy Prime Minister H.E. Ham Lini VANUAROROA
III. Bilateral Market Access Negotiations 
Goods Offer(s)  03/11/1997  WT/ACC/SPEC/VUT/2  (+  revisions)
Services Offer(s)  03/11/1997  WT/ACC/SPEC/VUT/3  (+  revisions)
Register of Bilateral Market Access Agreements 
Draft Goods Schedule  03/11/2010  WT/ACC/SPEC/VUT/8/Add.1 
~revised 11/05/2011  WT/ACC/VUT/16/Add.1 (File 1; File 2
Draft Services Schedule  03/11/2010  WT/ACC/SPEC/VUT/8/Add.2 
~revised 11/05/2011  WT/ACC/VUT/16/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 26/10/2011  WT/L/823  News item
Protocol of Accession  26/10/2011  WT/L/823
Report of the Working Party 11/05/2011  WT/ACC/VUT/17
Goods Schedule (Schedule of Concessions and Commitments Annexed to the GATT 1994)  11/05/2011  WT/ACC/VUT/17/Add.1 (File 1; File 2
Services Schedule (Schedule of Specific Commitments Annexed to the GATS)  11/05/2011  WT/ACC/VUT/17/Add.2
VI. Accessions Commitments Database (ACDB) 
Specific Accession Commitments click on “Report by Member”, select “Vanuatu” 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 25/07/2012  WT/LET/861  News item
VIII. Date of Membership
24/08/2012  157th Member  News item
IX. Since 1995, this is the…
29th 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.