Chapter 11 : Implementation of WTO Obligations (inc ROOs)

 

Objectives

 

APEC economies will ensure full and effective implementation of Uruguay Round outcomes within the agreed time frame in a manner fully consistent with the letter and the spirit of the WTO Agreement.

 

On Rules of Origin, APEC economies will:

 

a.                   ensure full compliance with internationally harmonized rules of origin to be adopted in relevant international fora; and

 

b.                  ensure that their respective rules of origin are prepared and applied in an impartial, transparent and neutral manner.

 

 

Guidelines

 

On WTO Agreements:

 

a.                   Each APEC economy which is a WTO member will fully and faithfully implement its respective Uruguay Round commitments.

 

b.                  Each APEC economy which is in the process of acceding to the WTO Agreement may participate in APEC Uruguay Round implementation actions through voluntary steps to liberalize its respective trade and investment regimes consistent with the WTO Agreement.

 

c.                   Each APEC economy will, on a voluntary basis, accelerate the implementation of Uruguay Round outcomes and deepen and broaden these.

 

On Rules of Origin:

 

Each APEC economy will:

 

a.                   align its respective rules of origin with internationally harmonized rules of origin to be adopted as a result of the WTO/WCO process; and

 

b.                   ensure predictable and consistent application of rules of origin.

 

 

Collective Actions

 

APEC economies will:

 

a.                   utilize on an on-going basis Uruguay Round implementation seminars and other appropriate means to:

                     i.                  improve APEC economies' understanding of provisions in the WTO Agreement and obligations thereunder;

                   ii.                  identify operational problems encountered in implementation of the WTO Agreement and areas in which APEC economies may require technical assistance; and

                  iii.                  explore cooperative efforts to provide such technical assistance in implementation;

 

b.                  consider implementation of suggestions for follow-on work from Uruguay Round implementation seminars; and

 

c.                   undertake technical assistance based on discussion at the above seminars, including cooperative training projects targeted at prevalent implementation problems to be undertaken in conjunction with the WTO Secretariat and other relevant international institutions.

 

On Rules of Origin

 

APEC economies will:

 

a.                   gather information on APEC economies’ respective rules of origin, both non-preferential and preferential, and operation thereof without duplicating WTO work in this area, exchange views and develop a compendium of rules of origin for the use of the business/private sector;

 

b.                  facilitate, complement and accelerate, in the short term, WTO/WCO work on harmonization of non-preferential rules of origin; and

 

c.                   study in due course the implication of rules of origin on the free flow of trade and investment, with a view to identifying, in the longer term, both positive and negative aspects and effects of rules of origin related practices.

 

The current CAP relating to Implementation of WTO Obligations (inc Rules of Origin) can be found in the WTO Implementation  Collective Action Plan and Rules of Origin Collective Action Plan

 

 

Canada’s Approach to Implementation of WTO Obligations and Rules of Origin in 2003

 

Canada implemented its Uruguay Round obligations under a Parliamentary Bill, Bill C-57 (World Trade Organization Agreement Implementation Act), which entered into legal force January 1, 1995.  Under this Act, amendments were made to a number of different domestic laws and regulations to meet Canada’s obligations under the WTO Agreement.

               

 

 


Canada’s Approach to Implementation of WTO Obligations (inc ROOs) in 2003

Section

 

Obligations Implemented Since Last IAP

Current Status of WTO Obligations Implementation

Further Implementation Planned

 

WTO Agreement,

Annex 1A

(Goods)

 

 

 

 

 

 

With reference to the Decision on Measures in Favour of LDCs, effective January 1, 2003, the Government of Canada extended duty-free and quota-free access to all imports except dairy products, poultry, and eggs from 48 Least Developed Countries (LDCs). This means that all eligible imports from these countries will be assessed at a tariff rate of zero, and all quotas on eligible products will be eliminated.  About half of Canada's imports from LDCs are currently subject to duties or tariffs, which average 19 per cent.

 

With reference to the Decision on Measures Concerning the Possible Negative Effects of the Reform Programme on Least-Developed and Net Food-Importing Developing Countries, Canada participates in the ongoing discussions respecting the implementation of this Decision. Canada supported the efforts of an inter-agency panel to examine short-term difficulties in financing normal levels of commercial imports of basic foodstuffs. As well, Canada, along with other Food Aid Convention Members, has agreed to renew the Convention, which was set to expire in June 2002.

 

Decisions relating to the Agreement on TBT cover (1) the Decision on Proposed Understanding on WTO-ISO Standards Information System and (2) the Decision on Review of the ISO/IEC Information Centre Publication. With regard to implementation of the first decision (or further implementation intended), the Standards Council (SCC) has notified acceptance of the Code of Good Practice on behalf of the four Standards Development Organizations (SDOs) accredited by the SCC in 1999, as referred to in paragraph C of the Code. Since then, the SCC has transmitted and continues to transmit to the ISO/IEC Information Centre in Geneva, regular updates of SDO work programmes, as required under paragraph J of Annex 3 of the TBT Agreement. Work programmes can be found at:

 

 http://www.scc.ca/accreditatio
n/cb/sdo_e.html

 

With respect to the second decision, Canada reviews the publication provided by ISO/IEC Information Centre through its participation in the annual review of the implementation and operation of the TBT Agreement as required under Article 15.3..

 

 

Canada will continue to participate actively in the work of the WTO, including those specifically directed by Ministerial Decisions and Declarations.

 

 

WTO Agreement,

Annex 1B

(Services)

 

 

 

 

Canada is pursuing the Bogor objective of "free and open trade and investment" by 2010 in services sectors. Canada has a very liberal services regime. This liberalization has been complemented by international commitments pursuant to the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the 1995 General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).

 

For further information, please visit the Services’ chapter of Canada’s IAP.

 

 

Canada has been engaged, with other WTO member countries, in a new round of GATS negotiations since February 2000.  In this context, Canada participates on WTO work on domestic regulations, safeguards, subsidies and government procurement in a services context.  Canada is currently engaged in the market access phase of the GATS negotiations. Canada will be seeking from its trading partners improved market access and national treatment commitments in a broad range of services sectors.

 

WTO Agreement,

Annex 1C

(IPR)

 

 

 

 

Canada is a member of several international treaties regarding intellectual property and actively participates in various international fora to promote further improvements in intellectual property in the global environment.  Canada has fully implemented the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) to reflect this commitment.

 

For further information, please visit the Intellectual Property Rights’ chapter of Canada’s IAP..

 

 

Canada will participate in the reviews of the WTO TRIPS Agreement implementation, which are to be held every two years beginning in 2000

 

WTO Plurilateral Agreements

 

 

 

 

Canada is a full member of the two existing WTO Plurilateral Trade Agreements; the Agreement on Trade in Civil Aircraft and the Agreement on Government Procurement.

 

Canada will continue to participate actively in both WTO Plurilateral Agreements: the Agreement on Trade in Civil Aircraft and the Agreement on Government Procurement.

 

WTO Ministerial Decisions and Declarations

 

 

 

 

 

In this section, we refer to WTO Ministerial Decisions and Declarations adopted by the Trade Negotiations Committee as per the legal texts of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations.

 

With reference to the Decision on Measures in Favour of LDCs, effective January 1, 2003, the Government of Canada extended duty-free and quota-free access to all imports except dairy products, poultry, and eggs from 48 Least Developed Countries (LDCs). This means that all eligible imports from these countries are assessed at a tariff rate of zero, and all quotas on eligible products have been eliminated.

 

In the period of 2001-03, Canada has invested nearly $165 million primarily in bilateral trade-related technical assistance.  We have further committed funds to various multilateral organizations, which in turn provide assistance to developing countries.  Since 2001, examples include:

 

·          $10.63 million (over three years) to the International Trade Centre

·          $2 million for the Integrated Framework Trust Fund

·          $1.94 million for the Advisory Centre for WTO Law

·          $1.5 million to the WTO Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund

·          $300,000 to the WTO Training Institute

·          $900,000 to the Commonwealth Secretariat's Technical Assistance Integration Fund

·          $5 million (over three years) to the Economic Commission for Africa

·          $7 million (over three years) to the Joint Integrated Technical Assistance Program

 

With reference to the Decision on Measures Concerning the Possible Negative Effects of the Reform Programme on Least-Developed and Net Food-Importing Developing Countries, Canada is active in exploring with other countries diverse options to address difficulties of Least Developed Countries and Net Food-Importing Developing Countries in financing normal levels of commercial imports of basic foodstuffs in the context of the Marrakech Decision. Canada continues to have concerns with respect to the feasibility of an ex-ante revolving fund but remains interested in helping NFIDCs and LDCs identify effective, market-oriented means to address their import-financing requirements.  Canada, along with other parties to the Food Aid Convention, has agreed to extend the Convention until June 30, 2005.

 

Canada is an active participant in various working groups as commissioned by WTO Ministers at the 1996 Singapore Ministerial Conference.  These include: 1) working group to examine the relationship between trade and investment; 2) working group related to the interaction between trade and competition policy; 3) working group on transparency in government procurement; and 4) specified work by the Council for the Trade in Goods on the simplification of trade procedures.

 

 

Canada will continue to participate actively in the work of the WTO including that specifically directed by Ministerial Decisions and Declarations.

 

 

 

Other WTO Obligations

 

 

 

 

 

Canada participates actively in the WTO Trade Policy Review process.

 

As a member of the Quad, Canada is reviewed biennially. It underwent its 7th review on March 12 and 14, 2003.

 

Canada also participates in the review of other WTO Members under their respective review cycles. As of August 2003, Canada participated in the review of the Maldives, El Salvador, Burundi, SACU, New Zealand, Morocco and Indonesia. In the following months, Senegal/Niger, Honduras, Bulgaria, Guyana, Haiti, Thailand Chile and Turkey will also be reviewed.

 

 

Canada will continue to participate actively in the work of the Trade Policy Review Body, which conducts the trade policy reviews.

 

Voluntary action to accelerate implementation of WTO Agreement

 

 

 

 

In February of 1994, the Government of Canada launched a comprehensive review of Canada’s tariff regime with the objective of (a) making it more responsive to competitive pressures facing Canadian industry as a result of freer trade, and (b) lessening the regulatory burden and associated costs to both the Government and the business community by making the system simpler, more transparent and predictable. After three years of review and extensive public consultations, the Canadian Parliament approved a Bill implementing a new simplified Customs Tariff to achieve these objectives.  The new Customs Tariff, which came into effect on January 1, 1998,  introduced a number of liberalizing measures that will be of benefit to international traders, including those from APEC economies.  Among the measures included are:

 

- The reduction to zero of virtually all tariff rates as they fall below 2%, as a permanent feature of the new tariff.

 

- The implementation of a number of other measures to further liberalize trade, including:

            - the harmonization of tariff rates of certain competing products;

            - the rounding down of most decimal rates to the nearest half percentage point as a permanent feature of the new tariff; and

            - the amalgamation of a large number of tariff items, generally at the lowest rate.

 

- The introduction of a variety of trade facilitation measures.

On August 25, 2000, Canada announced that an additional 570 tariff items will be accorded duty-free treatment for the world’s least-developed countries (LDCs).  These tariff measures came into effect on September 1, 2000.  Under this new initiative, LDCs will now have preferential, duty-free access, for about 90 per cent of all product categories under Canada’s tariff schedule.  

 

On August 23, 2000, Canada also liberalized the origin requirements that apply to imports entering the Canadian market from least-developed countries.  This will further facilitate the access of products from the world’s least-developed markets to Canada’s domestic market.

 

 

Rules of Origin

 

 

 

 

Canada’s rules of origin are applied in a manner consistent with the disciplines and principles set out in the WTO agreement on Rules of Origin.

 

 


 


Canada’s Implementation of WTO Obligations since 1996

Section

Position at Base Year (1996)

Cumulative Improvements Implemented to Date

 

WTO Agreement,

Annex 1A

(Goods)

 

 

Canada has implemented on an annual basis all of its tariff reduction commitments in accordance with the Uruguay Round Agreement (commencing January 1995).

 

Canada continues to maintain WTO-consistent non-tariff measures required to protect health, safety, security, or environment, as well as comply with our obligations under international agreements.

 

 

For improvements please visit the Tariffs’ and Non-Tariff Measures’ chapters of Canada’s IAP.

 

WTO Agreement,

Annex 1B

(Services)

 

 

 

Canada implemented the WTO agreement including its commitments under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) (January 1995).

 

For improvements please visit the Services’ chapter of Canada’s IAP.

 

WTO Agreement,

Annex 1C

(IPR)

 

 

 

Canada’s TRIPS implementation became complete with the January 1, 1996 entry into force of the intellectual property provisions of Canada’s World Trade Organization Agreement Implementation Act.  Accordingly, Canada now maintains TRIPS-consistent regimes with respect to copyright and related rights, trademark rights, patent rights, plant breeders’ rights, rights in geographical indications and industrial design rights.  Canada also protects encrypted program-carrying satellite signals (1996).

 

 

For improvements please visit the Intellectual Property Rights’ chapter of Canada’s IAP.

 

WTO Plurilateral Agreements

 

 

 

As of January 1, 1995, Canada was a full member of three of the four WTO Plurilateral Trade Agreements.  These were: Agreement on Trade in Civil Aircraft; Agreement on Government Procurement and the International Bovine Meat Agreement.  In addition, Canada was an observer to the last of the four plurilateral agreements,  i.e.,  International Dairy Agreement.  

 

 

With the implementation of the new WTO Agreement on Agriculture as of January 1, 1995, the terms of reference of two of the four WTO Plurilateral Agreements, i.e.,  International Bovine Meat Agreement and the International Dairy Agreement, subsequently became redundant.  Given this circumstance, Canada remains a full member of the two remaining agreements, the Agreement on Trade in Civil Aircraft and the Agreement on Government Procurement only.

 

WTO Ministerial Decisions and Declarations

 

 

 

 

 

Other WTO Obligations

 

 

 

Canada is an active member of the WTO Trade Policy Review Mechanism (TPRM) and has participated in four reviews beginning in 1990.  These include reviews of Canada's trade policy regime in 1990, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998 and 2000.

 

 

Canada has continued to play an active role in the WTO Trade Policy Review (TPR) process.

 

Voluntary action to accelerate implementation of WTO Agreement

 

 

 

In February of 1994, the Government of Canada launched a comprehensive review of Canada’s tariff regime with the objective of (a) making it more responsive to competitive pressures facing Canadian industry as a result of freer trade, and (b) lessening the regulatory burden and associated costs to both the Government and the business community by making the system simpler, more transparent and predictable.  A draft new simplified customs tariff was published in March 1996 for public comment.  It is intended that, following the completion of public consultations on the new tariff, legislation will be prepared with a view to tabling before Parliament in 1997 with implementation in 1998.  The tariff simplification exercise may result in further tariff reductions.

 

 

After three years of review and extensive public consultations, the Canadian Parliament approved a Bill implementing a new simplified Customs Tariff to achieve these objectives.  The new Customs Tariff, which came into effect on January 1, 1998,  introduced a number of liberalizing measures that will be of benefit to international traders, including those from APEC economies.  Among the measures included are:

 

- The reduction to zero of virtually all tariff rates as they fall below 2%, as a permanent feature of the new tariff.

- The implementation of a number of other measures to further liberalize trade, including:

            - the harmonization of tariff rates of certain competing products;

            - the rounding down of most decimal rates to the nearest half percentage point as a permanent feature of the new tariff; and

            - the amalgamation of a large number of tariff items, generally at the lowest rate.

 

- The introduction of a variety of trade facilitation measures.

 

- On January 1, 1998, Canada accelerated by one-year, UR tariff reduction commitments for all products originally placed on a five-year phase-in schedule ending January 1, 1999.  As of January 1, 1998, all final reductions were fully implemented. Similarly, Canada also accelerated by one year its tariff elimination commitments made under UR zero-for-zero initiatives in the agricultural, construction and medical equipment sectors as well as the office furniture sector.

 

On August 25, 2000, Canada announced that an additional 570 tariff items will be accorded duty-free treatment for the world’s least-developed countries (LDCs).  These tariff measures came into effect on September 1, 2000.  Under this new initiative, LDCs will now have preferential, duty-free access, for about 90 per cent of all product categories under Canada’s tariff schedule.  

 

On August 23, 2000, Canada also liberalized the origin requirements that apply to imports entering the Canadian market from least-developed countries.  This will further facilitate the access of products from the world’s least-developed markets to Canada’s domestic market.   

 

Rules of Origin

 

 

 

Canada’s rules of origin are applied in a manner consistent with the disciplines and principles set out in the WTO agreement on Rules of Origin.