What is a WTO Schedule
WTO Schedules of concessions, often referred to as "Goods Schedules" are legal instruments that describe the treatment a Member must provide to the trade in goods of other WTO Members. They are one of the main WTO tools to ensure transparency, security, and predictability for world trade.
All Schedules of concessions include "bound duties", that is the maximum tariffs that can be applied by a Member for a particular product, as well as other tariff and non-tariff concessions.
Schedules result from negotiations among Members, both in the multilateral and plurilateral context. While most Schedules were established during the Uruguay Round in 1994, others have resulted from the accessions of new Members to the WTO.
Although practitioners typically refer to "the" Schedule of a Member, these concessions and commitments can be spread out over several legal instruments that, together, set out that Member's obligations.
Each Schedule has at least four parts:
Part I is provided for in Article II:1(b) of the GATT 1994 and embodies the MFN "most favored nation tariff'" concessions in the form of bound duties and is further divided into:
Section I – Agricultural products:
As a result of the Uruguay Round modalities on agricultural trade negotiations, original Members of the WTO and Members that have acceded to the WTO have typically bound all of their tariffs on agricultural products. This Section is subdivided in:
Section I-A — bound tariffs
Section I-B — tariff quotas, colloquially referred to as tariff rate quotas or "TRQs"
Section II – other products:
There are many cases were Members have retained "unbound" duties for non-agricultural products.
Part II of the Schedules is provided for in Article II:1(c) of the GATT 1994 and is entitled "preferential tariff". These historical preferences were progressively eliminated in the earlier GATT trade rounds.
Part III, which is referred to in paragraph 6 of the Marrakesh Protocol to the GATT 1994, embodies concessions on non-tariff measures.
Part IV is referred to in Articles 1, 3, 6, 7 and 9 of the Agreement on Agriculture, and embodies commitments in respect of domestic support and export subsidies for agricultural products. In the context of WTO Accessions, Goods Schedules are referred to as "Schedules of concessions and commitments", to take account of these commitments limiting subsidization on agricultural products.
Supporting Tables for commitments on agricultural subsidization (AGST tables)
These tables provide background information on data and methodology used by countries in deriving their commitments on domestic support and export subsidies. They include detailed information on the provision of domestic support and export subsidies during the agreed years (i.e., the base period).