Deposit of the Instrument of Acceptance of the “Protocol Amending the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization”
June 1, 2015
1. On June 1 (local time: same day) in Geneva, Japan deposited with the Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) the instrument of acceptance of the “Protocol Amending the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization” (hereinafter referred to as the “Protocol”). The Protocol has not yet entered into force and will take effect for the Members that have accepted it upon acceptance by two thirds of the Members.
2. The Protocol is to amend the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization to insert the Agreement on Trade Facilitation (hereinafter referred to as the “Trade Facilitation Agreement”) into Annex 1A of the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization. The Trade Facilitation Agreement was the first newly established agreement adopted by all Members since the foundation of the WTO in 1995. Objectives of the Trade Facilitation Agreement are to expedite the movement, release and clearance of goods and to enhance transparency of trade related procedures.
3. By entering into force, the Protocol is expected to improve the problems which Japanese companies face mainly in developing countries (e.g. unclear trade rules, procedures and fees; unjust discretion of officials; unreasoable requests for documents for import; and the long period of time from the arrival of goods to the permission of import), and thus support trade and other economic activities by Japanese companies, which not only export finished goods, but also develop supply chains on a global scale. Moreover, the Protocol is expected to help developing countries to promote trade and investment by reducing the trade transaction costs as well as to prevent illegal imports and to improve the collection of customs duties.
(Reference) The Protocol Amending the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization
1. This Protocol was adopted on Novemver 28 (local time: November 27), 2014 at the General Council of the WTO in Geneva. The Diet approval for its acceptance was given on May 15, 2015.
2. The number of Members which have accepted the Protocol as of June 1, 2015 is six (Hong Kong, China; Singapore; United States of America; Mauritius; Malaysia).
3. The Protocol has not entered into force as of June 1, 2015. The Protocol shall take effect for the Members that have accepted it upon acceptance by two thirds of the Members and thereafter for each other Member upon acceptance by it.