Market access for goods

Market access for goods in the WTO means the conditions, tariff and non-tariff measures, agreed by members for the entry of specific goods into their markets. Tariff commitments for goods are set out in each member's schedules of concessions on goods. The schedules represent commitments not to apply tariffs above the listed rates — these rates are “bound”. Non-tariff measures are dealt with under specific WTO agreements (see list below). WTO Members seek to continually improve market access through the regular WTO work programme and through negotiations such as those launched at the Doha Ministerial Conference in November 2001.

See also:
> Non-agricultural market access negotiations
> Negotiations, implementation and development: the Doha agenda
> Hong Kong Ministerial Declaration

> GATT and the Goods Council
> Tariffs

Derestriction of bilateral negotiating material from earlier GATT Rounds of negotiations

In line with WTO's efforts to enhance transparency, Members have agreed to derestrict an important number of documents relating to earlier GATT Rounds of negotiations. 1

The derestricted material includes more than 5,000 records kept by the Secretariat, including bilateral requests, offers, and agreements negotiated using the “request and offer” approach.

The bilateral material has been scanned in a joint project with Stanford University Libraries to ensure its preservation.

1. For more background information on the subject please see minutes of the meetings of the Committee on Market Access (G/MA/M/52, G/MA/M/53, and G/MA/M/55) and the General Council Decision of 25 July 2013, “Derestriction of some GATT 1947 historical bilateral negotiating documentation” (WT/L/892).

> GATT bilateral negotiating material by Round

> GATT bilateral negotiating material by Contracting Party


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Information on market access for goods in the WTO
Links to market access and tariff information in the WTO guide “Understanding the WTO”
Includes: TariffBindings; Agriculture;
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The mandate   

Consult or download the Marrakesh Protocol


Summary of the legal texts of the GATT
A technical summary   

Browse or download the text of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT 1947) from the legal texts gateway
Find decisions of WTO bodies concerning the GATT in the Analytical Index — Guide to WTO Law and Practice

The Doha negotiating mandate
Section on market access in the 2001 Doha Ministerial Declaration

Consult the goods schedules for WTO members and new members
Hong Kong Ministerial Declaration



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Work of the Committee on Market Access  

At its meeting on 31 January 1995 the General Council established the WTO Committee on Market Access with the following terms of reference:

The Committee on Market Access shall:

(a) in relation to market access issues not covered by any other WTO body:

  • supervise the implementation of concessions relating to tariffs and non-tariff measures;
  • provide a forum for consultation on matters relating to tariffs and non-tariff measures;

(b) oversee the application of procedures for modification or withdrawal of tariff concessions;

(c) ensure that GATT Schedules are kept up-to-date, and that modifications, including those resulting from changes in tariff nomenclature, are reflected;

(d) conduct the updating and analysis of the documentation on quantitative restrictions and other non-tariff measures, in accordance with the timetable and procedures agreed by the CONTRACTING PARTIES in 1984 and 1985 (BISD 31S/227 and 228, and BISD 32S/92 and 93).

(e) oversee the content and operation of, and access to, the Integrated Data Base;

(f) report periodically — and in any case not less than once a year — to the Council on Trade in Goods.

The current chair is .


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Documents of the Committee on Market Access  

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Documents on market access use the code G/MA/*. Under the Doha agenda’s trade negotiations mandate, they use TN/MA/* (where * takes additional values).
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  • Annual reports of the Committee to the General Council   > search
  • Summary reports (minutes) of regular meetings of the Committee (Document code G/MA/M/*)   > search
  • Working documents of the Committee (Document code G/MA/W/*)
      > search
  • Integrated Data Base (IDB) (Document code G/MA/IDB/*) 
    • Working documents (Document code G/MA/IDB/W*)   > search
    • Status of submissions to the Integrated Data Base   > search
    • General IDB documents   > search
  • Notifications
    • Procedures   > search
    • Notifications in pursuance of paragraph 3 of the Understanding regarding notification, consultation, dispute settlement and surveillance and the decision on notification procedures Annexed to the final act embodying the results of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral trade negotiations (Document code WT/L/* and keyword “paragraph 3 of the understanding”)   > search
    • Notifications of quantitative restrictions (Document code G/MA/NTM/* and keyword “notification”)   > search
  • Tariff information available in the Secretariat (Document code G/MA/TAR* and keywords “tariff and information and available”)   > search

> See also market access negotiations documents

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