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Balance of Payments Measures

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Chapter Summary

The Understanding on the Balance-of-Payments Provisions of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 (BOP Understanding) is incorporated into GATT 1994 by para. 1(c)(iii) GATT 1994. Arts XII and XVIII:B GATT 1994 permit World Trade Organization (WTO) countries to impose import restrictions to protect their balance-of-payments. Para. 5 BOP Understanding provides that the BOPs Committee shall conduct consultations to review all restrictive balance-of-payments measures. Balance of payments restrictions are authorized by art. XII GATT as exceptions to the general prohibition against quantitative restrictions found in art. XI GATT. Art. XII:1 GATT allows any WTO Member to restrict the quantity or value of its imports for the purpose of safeguarding its external financial position and its balance of payments. Art. IV:7 WTO Agreement directed the WTO Ministerial Conference to create a Committee on Balance-of-Payments Restrictions.

Keywords: balance-of-payments measures; GATT; World Trade Organization (WTO)



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