Topics handled by WTO committees and agreements
Issues covered by the WTO’s committees and agreements

Negotiations on RTAs

WTO Members agreed at Doha to initiate negotiations aimed at clarifying and improving disciplines and procedures under the existing WTO provisions applying to regional trade agreements, taking into account developmental aspects.

Original mandate: GATT Article XXIV (opens in pop-up window)
> Transparency Mechanism on RTAs
Click for Doha Development Agenda gateway
The Doha mandate (opens in pop-up window)
The Doha mandate explained

160pxls.gif (835 bytes)
See also:
Development aspects of the Doha Round

Deadlines in the Doha Declaration

January 2002: Start

5th Ministerial Conference, 2003 (in Mexico): stock taking

1 January 2005: part of single undertaking, end of negotiations

Introduction     > back to top

Negotiations are taking place within the Negotiating Group on Rules (NGR) which reports to the Trade Negotiations Committee (TNC).
For information on the issues under discussion, see the Secretariat's study entitled Compendium of Issues related to Regional Trade Agreements TN/RL/W/8/Rev.1 (in MS Word 31 pages; 210 KB).

With regard to negotiations on procedural issues relating to RTAs, on 14 December 2006, the General Council established on a provisional basis a new transparency mechanism for all RTAs.

The new transparency mechanism was negotiated in the Negotiating Group on Rules and is implemented on a provisional basis. Members are to review, and if necessary modify, the decision, and replace it by a permanent mechanism adopted as part of the overall results of the Doha Round. This review is currently taking place in the Negotiating Group on Rules.


2006 General Council Decision on the Transparency Mechanism for RTAs     > back to top


The Negotiating Group’s work and official documents