The Handbook provides a detailed explanation and analysis of the process whereby governments become Members of the WTO. The WTO Agreement, which came into force on 1 January, 1995, provides few details on how this process is to take place. Consequently, the steps in the detailed negotiations leading up to access have evolved through the actual negotiations for governments which have become Members of the WTO since 1995. This handbook provides an account of how the process evolved and in offering details on the process as it is now applied. Moreover, the input of the WTO Secretariat into the preparation of the guide provides information not available until now to anyone outside the Secretariat. The Secretariat has supported production of this handbook in the hope it will serve as a useful source of reference for officials from acceding governments, WTO Members, academia, and the general public.
Introduction and summary; 1. Accession in perspective; 2. The basic rules; 3. Technical assistance and training for acceding countries; 4. The accession process: the procedures and how they have been applied; 5. Substance of accession negotiations; Annexes: Annex 1. Statistical survey; Annex 2. WTO provisions on accession; Annex 3. Ministerial declarations (accession-related paragraphs); Annex 4. Guidelines for accession of least-developed countries; Annex 5. Documentation and timeline for completed accessions; Annex 6. Basic factual information to be supplied; Annex 7. Supplementary factual information; Annex 8. Formats for initial tariff offer and for schedule of Concessions and Commitments on Goods; Annex 9. Drafting a services schedule; Annex 10. Text of decisions on accession and accession protocols; Annex 11. List of WTO agreements and associated legal instruments; Annex 12. Overview of protocol commitments; Annex 13. Suggested formats for legislative action plans and transitional periods for LDC; Annex 14. Agricultural tariff rate quotas and special safeguards; Annex 15. Sectoral initiatives.
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