Minutes - TRIPS Council - View details of the intervention/statement

Mr. S. Harbinson (Hong Kong)
European Union
C.1.i Article 63.2 concerning the notification of laws and regulations
32. The representative of the European Communities said that the views of his delegation were similar to those expressed by the representative of Switzerland. The Council first had to agree on a number of details concerning the interpretation of the transparency and notification requirements in Article 63. The text of Article 63 already provided a substantial amount of guidance and only relatively little needed to be done in addition to the preparatory work prior to the first meeting of the Council. Nevertheless, some important questions still had to be addressed as identified in PC/IPL/7/Add.2, including the question of languages. He believed that it was essential that the basic and quite ambitious notification requirement contained in Article 63 be implemented in a sufficiently practical and rapid fashion as to make this part of the Agreement operational. He suggested that the Chairman hold informal consultations on the nuts and bolts which still had to be discussed. Only after completion of that technical work could the question be addressed of how the implementation should be carried out and whether such could be done by the WTO or whether it could or should be done in cooperation with WIPO. In that context, he said that his delegation had a predisposition in favour of a cooperative relationship between the WTO and WIPO on this matter. However, the cart should not be put before the horse and the Council should first clarify the substance of the notification requirements before the extent of cooperation that would be practical could be identified.