Compte rendu ‒ Conseil des ADPIC ‒ Afficher les détails de l'intervention/la déclaration

Mr. S. Harbinson (Hong Kong)
E Implementation of Article 65.5
36. The Chairman recalled that, at its last meeting, the TRIPS Council had remitted to informal consultations the question of how it should carry out its monitoring function, in the sense of Article 68, in respect of the standstill obligation of Article 65.5, and in particular what information might be sought from Members to facilitate such monitoring. Different views had been put forward in the informal consultations. On the one hand, it had been said that it would be inappropriate for the Council to require the full submission of national legislation prior to the end of the relevant transitional period. In this regard, reference had been made to the Contact Group's report (PC/IPL/7) and also to the "Working Hypothesis" (IP/C/W/6) which stated that national laws and regulations would be notified as of the time that the corresponding substantive obligation applied. On the other hand, the point had been made that the Council was called upon to monitor the operation of the Agreement, including Article 65.5, and that Article 65.5 represented in itself a substantive obligation which had become effective from 1 January this year. While these basic differences of interpretation had remained, he had sensed that there was a general acceptance that the Council should attempt to find, in a balanced way, a practical modus vivendi without prejudice to the legal positions of delegations. This would be based on, first, an acceptance that the Council did have a legitimate interest in information on changes made to national legislation during the transitional period and, second, an acceptance that Members should not be asked to make notifications of national laws and regulations of the type that would be required at the end of their transitional periods and, further, that any mechanism for providing information should not be such as to place an undue burden on delegations. He had attempted to put on paper what he considered constituted such a balanced approach (this text is reproduced in the Annex to these minutes). The text did not call on Members to submit the texts of legislation modified during the transitional period, although of course they would remain free to do so if they so wished. Instead, delegations would be asked to inform the Council of the modification of a law or regulation, together with a brief indication of the nature of the changes made. If another Member wished to have a copy of the new law or regulation in question as well as of the earlier law or regulation that had been modified, it would be up to it to pursue this request bilaterally under the existing provisions of Article 63.3 of the Agreement. Given his belief that this approach did constitute a balanced and practical way of handling this matter, he appealed to all delegations to demonstrate flexibility.