Technical Assistance in meeting Member's notification obligations

The primary instrument for ensuring transparency in the multilateral trading system is through the filing of notifications made by each Member and reviewed by the relevant bodies of the WTO.


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Notification requirements 

The importance attached by negotiators to this issue explains the very elaborate system of notifications and cross-notifications put in place under the terms of most Agreements. Notifications are a necessary burden, particularly for the administrations and governments of developing countries.

During the first WTO Ministerial Conference that took place in Singapore from 9 to 13 December 1996, Ministers took note that compliance with notification requirements had not been fully satisfactory and urged Members to renew their efforts.


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Central Registry of Notifications (CRN) 

The Uruguay Round Ministerial Decision on Notification Procedures has established under the responsibility of the Secretariat a Central Registry of Notifications (CRN). With the exception of the notification requirements related to the Integrated Data Base (IDB), contained in WT/L/225, which have to be fulfilled by preparing machine-readable submissions, Members fulfil their notification obligations by presenting a notification on paper. As indicated in document WT/INF/25/Rev.1, these notifications may also be sent by fax or as electronic attachments to e-mails, but in any case, regardless of their subject content or the requirement under which they are being submitted, all paper-based notifications should be sent to the Administrator of the CRN and not to WTO bodies and/or Secretariat staff.


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Technical assistance 

It is evident that many developing country Members face particular problems with the expanded notification obligations of the WTO Agreements. In order to assist Members to better understand WTO notification prescriptions, the Secretariat has been organizing specific technical assistance activities on this issue upon request from Members.


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Technical Cooperation Handbook on Notification Requirements 

At the request of the Working Group on Notification Obligations and Procedures, the Secretariat has prepared a Technical Cooperation Handbook on Notification Requirements.

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Documents on Technical Cooperation Handbook on Notification Requirements use the code WT/TC/NOTIF* (where * takes additional values).
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Focal points on notification matter 

A list of contact persons for notification matters is available online with built-in electronic mail facilities. If you have questions on a specific notification requirement, you can send an e-mail directly to the Secretariat's focal point.


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