Trade in Services

​ICAO Council Resolution on Trade in Services Negotiations

 (adopted by the Council at the sixth meeting of its 158th Session, on 22 November 1999) 

Recalling the leadership role of ICAO in ensuring the safe and orderly development of international civil aviation throughout the world;
Bearing in mind the policy of ICAO on trade in services set out in Section IV, Appendix A of Assembly Resolution A32-17 and the Organization's continuing efforts through the development of guidance on economic regulation to meet the present and future needs of States in international air transport;
Noting the commitment by the World Trade Organization (WTO), in connection with the Millennium Round of trade negotiations, to carry out a review of the Annex on Air Transport Services in the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) with a view to considering the possible further application of the GATS to international air transport;
Recognizing the need for the aviation community to be actively engaged in the WTO review and negotiations and for ICAO to support such involvement;
The Council
  1. Affirms that the current exclusion of commercial "traffic rights" and "services directly related to the exercise of traffic rights" from the GATS, in view of the particularities of exchanging market access in international air transport and especially on the basis of reciprocity, is consistent with the aviation community's general goal of gradual, progressive, orderly and safeguarded change towards market access as well as the effective and sustained participation of all States in international air transport;
  2. Urges ICAO Contracting States that are members or prospective members of the WTO to:
    1. ensure internal coordination in their national administrations and in particular the direct involvement of aeronautical authorities and the aviation industry in the review and the negotiations; 
    2. examine carefully the implications of any proposed inclusion of an additional air transport service or activity in the GATS, especially those related to the safety and security of international air transport; and 
    3. take into account their rights and obligations with those ICAO Member States which are not members of the WTO;
  3. Encourages ICAO Contracting States to use ICAO policy and guidance material in their regulation of international air transport;
  4. Requests the WTO, in its consideration of air transport under the Millennium Round, to take full cognizance of:
    1. ICAO's constitutional responsibility for international air transport and, in particular, for its safety and security; 
    2. ICAO's policy on trade in services in Assembly Resolution A32-17; and  
    3. the particular regulatory structures and arrangements of international air transport and the progressive liberalization taking place at the bilateral, sub-regional and regional levels; and
  5. Considers that ICAO should be actively engaged in any review of the classification of international air transport activities for the purposes of negotiation or application of the GATS to air transport.


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