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Summary of Treaty

Official Title General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS)
Type of Agreement Multilateral
Place of Signature Marrakesh
Date of Signature 15/04/1994
Date of Entry Into Force 01/01/1995
Duration Indefinite
Objective of Agreement To establish a multilateral framework of principles and rules for trade in services with a view to the expansion of such trade under conditions of transparency and progressive liberalisation; to promote the economic growth of all trading partners and the development of developing countries, with trade in services involving cross-border movement, the movement of consumers, a commercial presence or the presence of physical persons.
Remarks The General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) is the first and only set of multilateral rules governing international trade in services. Negotiated in the Uruguay Round, it was developed in response to the huge growth of the services economy over the past 30 years and the greater potential for trading services brought about by the communications revolution. The General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), which makes up Annex 1B of the Agreement Establishing the WTO, rests on three pillars. The first is a Framework Agreement containing basic obligations that apply to all member countries; The second concerns national schedules of commitments containing specific further national commitments that will be the subject of a continuing process of liberalisation;The third is a number of annexes addressing the special situations of individual services sectors. The Agreement covers all internationally-traded services, for example, banking, telecommunications, tourism, professional services, etc. It also defines four ways (or “modes”) of trading services: 1. services supplied from one country to another (e.g. international telephone calls), officially known as “cross-border supply” (in WTO jargon, “mode 1”); 2. consumers or firms making use of a service in another country (e.g. tourism), officially “consumption abroad” (“mode 2”); 3. a foreign company setting up subsidiaries or branches to provide services in another country (e.g. foreign banks setting up operations in a country), officially “commercial presence” (“mode 3”); 4. individuals travelling from their own country to supply services in another (e.g. fashion models or consultants), officially “presence of natural persons” (“mode 4”).
Relation and Association with Other Agreements -Second Protocol to the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) (financial services)
-Third Protocol to the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) (movement of natural persons)
-Fourth Protocol to the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) (telecommunications)
-Fifth Protocol to the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) (financial services)
OJ Reference L336, 23/12/1994, p. 191
Depositary World Trade Organisation
Contracting Parties European Community, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom
Authentic Texts English, French, Spanish
Subject Matters GATT
Uruguay Round
WTO Agreements
World Trade Organisation
market organisation
services contract
trade regulations
Date of Signature 15/04/1994
Conclusion Date 30/12/1994
Ratification Status AC
Conclusion Decision 94/800/EC: Council Decision (of 22 December 1994) concerning the conclusion on behalf of the European Community, as regards matters within its competence, of the agreements reached in the Uruguay Round multilateral negotiations (1986-1994) L 336 , 23/12/1994 P. 1
Date of Entry Into Force 01/01/1995
Competence Mixed
Legal Basis Treaty EC: Article 100
Treaty EC: Article 66
Treaty EC: Article 235
Treaty EC: Article 57
Treaty EC: Article 100A
Treaty EC: Article 54
Treaty EC: Article 113
Treaty EC: Article 99
Treaty EC: Article 84
Treaty EC: Article 75
Treaty EC: Article 43

Last Update :   15/11/2006