WTO and WCO  Materials

Our legal practice involves monitoring dispute resolution decisions at the WTO, and guidance decisions undertaken by the WCO.  We provide additional information on these bodies below:

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The World Trade Organization (WTO) was established in 1995, as the predecessor organization to the GATT.  It’s composed of 164 member nation states.  It describes its mission as the creation of “a strong and prosperous international trading system…” and describes itself as “the only global international organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations.”

The World Trade Organization (WTO)

An important function of the WTO is to hear and resolve trade disputes between member countries.  This function is administered by the dispute resolution body. 

The main WTO agreement on settling disputes is known as the Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU). Following on that agreement additional materials are as follows:


November 2017:


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The WCO is an independent intergovernmental body composed of 182 customs administrations from WTO member Nations.  It’s mission is to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of Customs administrations.   

The WCO describes itself as “the global centre of Customs expertise . . .  the WCO is the only international organization with competence in Customs matters and can rightly call itself the voice of the international Customs community.” 

The World Customs Organization  (WCO) 

Active WCO committees are as follows:

  • Harmonized System Committee
  • Harmonized System Review Sub-Committee
  • Harmonized System Working Party
  • Technical Committee on Rules of Origin (TCRO)
  • Technical Committee on Customs Valuation