WTO legal texts

Most of the WTO agreements are the result of the 1986–94 Uruguay Round negotiations, signed at the Marrakesh ministerial meeting in April 1994. There are about 60 agreements and decisions totalling 550 pages.

Negotiations since then have produced additional legal texts such as the Information Technology Agreement, services and accession protocols. New negotiations were launched at the Doha Ministerial Conference in November 2001.

See also:
Pre-WTO legal texts
General guidance on officially accepting WTO legal instruments

> Schedules of commitments

  

  

The texts reproduced here do not have the legal standing of the original documents which are entrusted and kept at the WTO Secretariat in Geneva.

  

S & D 

Special and differential provisions in the legal texts:

Developing countries, particularly least-developed countries, are given more flexibility in implementing certain WTO rules.

> Details

> Video: Basic principles of the WTO system

 

back to top

Introduction 

Introduction to the Agreements
“Understanding the WTO”

  

back to top

Legal text index 

Consult the detailed index of the Uruguay Round legal texts.
Examples: “accession”, “decision-making”, “least-developed country Members”.

A B C D E F G H I J K L
M N O P Q R S T U V W XYZ

  

back to top

The Uruguay Round agreements 

The “Final Act” signed in Marrakesh in 1994 is like a cover note. Everything else is attached to this. Foremost is the Agreement Establishing the WTO (or the WTO Agreement), which serves as an umbrella agreement. Annexed are the agreements on goods, services and intellectual property, dispute settlement, trade policy review mechanism and the plurilateral agreements. The schedules of commitments also form part of the Uruguay Round agreements.

  
Marrakesh Declaration of 15 April 1994   > browse text   > pdf
  

Final Act   > browse text   > MS Word   > pdf

 
Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization   > summary   > browse text   > MS Word   > pdf   > interpretation

 
Annex 1

Annex 1A  Multilateral Agreements on Trade in Goods   > browse text   > MS Word   > pdf

Annex 1B  General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS)  > summary   > browse text   > MS Word   > pdf   > interpretation

Annex 1C  Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)     > browse text   > MS Word   > pdf > interpretation
(unamended version)

TRIPS Agreement   > Explanatory note   > browse text   > MS Word   > pdf  
(as amended on 23 January 2017)

Annex 2  Dispute Settlement Understanding   > summary   > browse text   > MS Word   > pdf   > interpretation

 
Annex 3  Trade Policy Review Mechanism   > browse text   > MS Word   > pdf   > interpretation

 
Annex 4  Plurilateral Trade Agreements

  

back to top

Uruguay Round ministerial decisions and declarations 

Decisions adopted by the Trade Negotiations Committee on 15 December 1993 and 14 April 1994

  

Declarations adopted by the Trade Negotiations Committee on 15 December 1993

  • Contribution of the WTO to achieving greater coherence  in global economic policymaking  > browse text  > MS Word  > pdf
  • Relationship of the WTO with the International Monetary Fund   > browse text   > MS Word   > pdf

  

Decisions and declarations on anti-dumping (GATT Article VI) and subsidies and countervailing measures adopted by the Trade Negotiations Committee on 15 December 1993

  • Decision on anti-circumvention   > browse text   > MS Word   > pdf
  • Decision on review of Article 17.6 of the Anti-Dumping Agreement   > browse text   > MS Word   > pdf
  • Declaration on dispute settlement pursuant to the Anti-Dumping and Subsidies and Countervailing Measures agreements   > browse text   > MS Word   > pdf;

  

Understanding on Commitments in Financial Services

> browse text   > MS Word (4 pages, 44KB)   > pdf (4 pages, 39KB)

  

back to top

GATT 1947

The original agreement dealing with trade in goods, now incorporated into GATT 1994 (see above) Explanations

  

Post-1994 goods agreement (Information Technology Agreement)

> browse text   > MS Word (18 pages, 146KB)   > pdf (18  pages, 54KB)  


back to top

Post-1994 GATS protocols   

These are additional agreements negotiated after the Uruguay Round and attached to the General Agreement on Trade in Services. There is no “First Protocol”. The related schedules of commitments can be ordered from the online bookshop.

 

back to top

Post-1994 accession protocols 

These are the negotiated terms of membership for countries joining the WTO after it was created on 1 January 1995. They include each new member’s schedules of commitments.

 

back to top

Countries’ schedules of commitments 

These schedules contain the commitments made by individual WTO members allowing specific foreign products or service-providers access to their markets. The schedules are integral parts of the agreements. In the print version these schedules comprise about 30,000 pages for all WTO Members.

Goods
For goods in general: binding commitments on tariffs. For agriculture: tariffs, combinations of tariffs and quotas, export subsidies and some types of domestic support.

Services
Binding commitments on how much access foreign service providers are allowed for specific sectors. Includes lists types of services where individual countries say they are not applying the “most-favoured-nation” principle of non-discrimination.

  • Services database. Find consolidated schedules of commitments and MFN exemptions by country, sector, and mode of supply. Data covers the period January 1995 to December 1999. Does not include data on current negotiations or on countries which joined the WTO since January 2000.
  • Protocols of accession for countries joining the WTO after 1995
  • Help on how to read a services schedule

 

back to top

Other major legal instruments 

  • Preferential treatment for least-developed countries — Decision on Waiver, 1999
    > browse text     > MS Word (2 pages, 35KB)     > pdf (2 pages, 9KB)

 

back to top

Legal text index 

Examples: “accession”, “decision-making”, “least-developed country Members”.

Index:  A   B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X, Y, Z