Table of Contents

  • This publication was prepared by Arti Gobind Daswani, Roy Santana and János Volkai of the WTO Secretariat with the support of WTO Deputy Director-General Karl Brauner, Valerie Hughes (former Director of the WTO’s Legal Affairs Division), Suja Rishikesh Mavroidis (Director of the WTO Market Access Division) and John Adank (Director of the Legal Affairs Division). Special acknowledgment is owed to William Castro, of the WTO’s Young Professionals Programme, for his contributions to the processing of the data and preparation of the one-page case summaries, to WTO staff members Jesse Kreier and Olga Falgueras Alamo, from the Rules Division, for their contribution to the compilation of relevant documents and to Jesse Nicol, from the Appellate Body Secretariat, for his comments. The authors are also grateful to Laoise Ní Bhriain, Maria Bressi and Bryson Strupp, from the Archives Section of the WTO Information Management Services, for their active collaboration in checking the archives and identifying relevant information, and to Tan Albayrak, intern at the Legal Affairs Division, for assisting in the final editing of the onepage case summaries.

  • The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade is the world’s first general multilateral trade agreement. It was signed in 1947 and came into force on 1 January 1948. As the contracting parties began to implement what is more widely known as the GATT 1947, it is unlikely they would have foreseen the full magnitude of the political and economic importance of their accord and its enduring impact as a fundamental framework for multilateral trade right up to the present day.

  • In the interest of accuracy, this publication uses the historical names of GATT contracting parties as they were used at the time of each dispute, e.g. Ceylon, Czechoslovakia, Hong Kong, the Federal Republic of Germany, Yugoslavia or the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. Likewise, this publication makes reference to EEC-6, EEC-9, EEC-10 or EEC-12 to reflect different stages of enlargement of the European Economic Communities. It also refers to individual EEC member States (e.g. France, Italy, etc.) for cases when these countries acted in their own capacity.

  • The year 2018 marked the 70th anniversary of the provisional application of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT 1947). Although it was intended to be applied on a provisional basis, the GATT 1947 governed international trade for almost half a century. Its principles, rules and procedures evolved over this period to respond to the changing needs and challenges of GATT contracting parties, providing the basis for today’s strengthened international trade rules under the GATT’s successor, the World Trade Organization (WTO).

  • A one-page case summary is devoted to each of the 316 GATT disputes identified by this publication.