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

Mr. S. Harbinson (Hong Kong)
B Notifications under Article 63.2
4. The Chairman said that, at its meeting of 21 November 1995, the Council had adopted a series of decisions relating to procedures for giving effect to the requirement to notify national laws and regulations under Article 63.2 and to the consideration that it would subsequently give to notifications made under this requirement (documents IP/C/2-5). Subsequently, the Secretariat had issued an airgram (WTO/AIR/240) drawing attention to the time-frame for the submission of these notifications. As regards the status of notifications actually received so far under Article 63.2, he said that, excluding the notifications already made relevant to Article 70.8, 21 Members had notified their laws and regulations pertaining to the subject matter of the TRIPS Agreement so far. In a few cases, the notification had, as yet, been partial only. Most Members had attempted to follow the guidelines in the above-mentioned procedures. The basic notification for some of these Members had already been circulated and for others was being processed. In some cases, the texts of the main laws and regulations had also been circulated; in some others, the texts were presently being processed and should be available fairly soon; and in a few cases the processing was being held up pending clarification of some points with the notifying delegation. Most notifications had not, as yet, included responses to the checklist of issues on enforcement (document IP/C/5). None of the notifications received so far had related only to those parts of national legislation which gave effect to the national treatment and MFN obligations of Articles 3, 4 and 5 of the TRIPS Agreement, which obligations had entered into force for all Members with effect from 1 January 1996. 5. Continuing, the Chairman recalled that the Council had adopted a schedule for the consideration of national implementing legislation starting in July 1996 (document IP/C/3). This schedule already included procedures for the posing of questions and for discussion in the Council. However, he suspected that it might be helpful for the Council to provide to delegations in advance somewhat clearer guidelines as to how the review would be undertaken. Therefore, he proposed that the Council ask his successor as Chairperson to hold informal consultations, taking into account any comments delegations would have and experience in other WTO bodies which had undertaken reviews of national implementing legislation, and come forward with suggestions at the Council's next meeting.