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WTO: Download Book - Export Control rules worldwide analysed.

What did the new WTO book say about export regulations and controls worldwide? Summary and book for download here.

What is the book on export controls all about?

It shows how WTO members have used international agreements and conventions beyond the WTO to impose export regulations to protect the environment, manage hazardous waste, control weapons, and fight illegal drugs.

Who is the audience for a WTO Book on Export Controls?

The book is intended to serve as a guide for policymakers, government officials, academics, and members of the public with an interest in the areas covered.

International Agreements on export controls

WTO members must cooperate to establish a variety of standards, some of which must be enforced by exporting nations, to safeguard international trade in sensitive or risky commodities. WTO members are party to various international agreements and conventions that contain export restrictions and controls based on years of international collaboration.

What are export controls used for?

WTO members use prohibitions, export licences, regulations, and other controls to manage risk and regulate trade in controlled and sensitive goods to achieve environmental goals, manage hazardous waste and chemicals, combat illicit drugs and harmful substances, promote global peace, and control the spread of weapons.

What does the research explore on export controls?

The new WTO research explores how export-related organisations outside the WTO work and how they relate to the global trading system for the first time.

WTO members' obligations on export controls

  • All quantitative restrictions (QRs) must be submitted to the WTO every two years to guarantee transparency.

  • Several WTO members have banned, limited, or licenced the trade of nuclear materials, illegal drugs, weapons, and environmental protection measures. Members may also declare if these limits or bans derive from non-WTO agreements.

  • However, several members have acknowledged following these agreements.

  • With 44 notifications, the Stockhol Convention, Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade, Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, and Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora are the top non-WTO agreements or conventions cited for export restrictions in notified QRs.

What are the most export controls that WTO members have imposed?

According to the study, export-related measures affect chemical products most, followed by optical and measuring equipment, machinery, and medicines. 73% of export-related QRs referenced the "General Exceptions" section in Article XX of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, while 38% cited paragraph (b) covering measures "necessary to protect human, animal, or plant life or health."

Download the report here

WTO Book on Export Restrictions Worldwide
Download PDF • 1.79MB

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