Armenia - WTO

Armenia applied for observer status in GATT in 1992 and for GATT membership in November 1993. On the basis of that application a Working Party was formed on December 17, 1993, under the chairmanship of Mr. Don Kenyon - Ambassador of Australia to the WTO. Armenia has commenced the activities on accession to the GATT in early fall of 1994. Due to the transformation of the GATT to the WTO, Armenia's GATT Working Party was converted into WTO Working Party in 1995.

The first Working Party meeting on Armenia's WTO accession was held on 23 and 24 January 1996. During this meeting the Memorandum on Foreign Trade Policy presented by Armenia and Armenia's response to the questions of the Member States concerning the Memorandum were discussed. The Member States were satisfied with the work done by the Armenian party, and stressed the high quality of the Memorandum and responses to further questions on it. The well-prepared Memorandum as well as detailed responses to the Member States' questions played an important role in facilitating the subsequent stages of the accession process.

Starting from 1997 and thereafter frequent changes in the government and consequent changes of concerned officials, in fact, caused disruptions in the negotiation process itself as well as in domestic activities. This resulted in delays in the accession process, and created additional difficulties. In some cases additional requirements were demanded by the members due to the delays.

So far, seven Working Party meetings have been held in the context of Armenia's WTO accession (January 1996; September 1996; May 1997; December 1997 (informal); June 1999). June 2002 (Informal), 21st November 2002. The Working Party adopted the final report in November 2002, and then the General Council adopted the report in December, 2002. The membership of Armenia to WTO took place on 5th February, 2003.

As a result of the extensive activities, most of Armenia's WTO related legislation has been brought into conformity with the WTO disciplines, which allowed to complete multilateral negotiations and prepare the final Report of the Working Party, provided that bilateral and plurilateral issues are settled.

Trade in goods: In general Armenia's offer on market access for goods was quite liberal, with 15 per cent ceiling bound tariff rate. Tariff bindings are ad valorem, and there are no specific or compound rates. There are no tariff rate quotas on both industrial and agricultural products.

In its tariff offer Armenia expressed readiness to join in several so-called "zero-for-zero" and harmonization sectoral agreements negotiated among a number of governments in the Uruguay Round. Industrial items were bound individually, while a unified approach was used with respect to agricultural products by binding the tariffs on all agricultural products, except only few items, at a rate of 15 per cent.

Trade in services: Armenia submitted to the WTO members a comprehensive market-opening offer in services. In general, countries which have acceded to the WTO have undertaken commitments in a large number of sectors, unlike some original members of WTO. 

Armenia became a Member of the WTO on February 5, 2003.


Protocol on the Accession of the Republic of Armenia
Report of the Working Party on the Accession of the Republic of Armenia
Report of the Working Party on the Accession of Armenia - Part II - Schedule of Specific Commitments in Services
Republic of Armenia's goods schedules

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