Process of joining
WTO could be joined by any state or customs territory which possesses the autonomy when implementing own commercial policy. With this the WTO joining country should agree the terms of its membership within WTO.
The process of joining the WTO consists of four basic steps as below:
1. A state should provide for complete information on all and any economical and political policies, as well as indicate how they conform to WTO principles. The said documents should be submitted as Memo and analyzed by a Work Team a specifically arranged for this purpose. The said Team should consist of countries which express interest in discussing the terms and conditions of joining the WTO for a country joining it. WTO members should hold direct discussions with a state intending to join the WTO. All disputes should be settled in the course of discussions including customs duty rates and liabilities of having access to the market of goods and services. When a new WTO member agrees with the liabilities offered, they should automatically be implemented to other members of organization as based on “Non-discrimination trade” principle.
2. Upon the completion of discussions and analysis of the trade mode of joining country Work Team should make up a special reporton a potential WTO member including the Draft Join Protocol and List of Liabilities specifying the dates of their execution.
3. At the session of the General Board or at the WTO Ministers Conference Work Team should present documents on the joining country. Then a formal voting should take place and at least two thirds should vote for the joining country as among this organization.
One should also note that the WTO Creation Agreement only sets forth general principles of joining the WTO. The terms and conditions of joining should be defined and determined during the discussions as between the countries acting as WTO Work Team members and the joining country. Resulted from the above, the process is becoming a kind of unexpected as separate WTO members have a right to present additional requirements to a joining country liabilities, which could be beyond those as WTO agreement frames. Such requirements belong to WTO plus concept. The practice of countries as recently joined to WTO shows that the minimum scope of liabilities had been significantly expanded to cover such fields as privatization, investment mode, adjoining export tariff rates.