This publication aims to increase the level of transparency over the exact rules that apply under the Energy Charter Treaty to trade in energy materials and products and energy related equipment among its Signatory states.
In April 1998 an amendment to the Trade related provisions of the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) - the so-called Trade Amendment - was adopted by the Treaty's Contracting Parties and Signatories.
The effect of this amendment was to update the "by reference" approach to the Treaty's coverage of energy trade issues. Under this approach, the trade rules of the World Trade Organisation are automatically applied to energy-related trade with and among those countries that have signed the ECT but are not yet members of the WTO (at present, there are nine states in this category: Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kazakhstan, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan).
As well as helping to extend the non-discriminatory, market-oriented principles of the WTO to trade with these countries in the important area of energy, the Treaty thus also serves as a "stepping stone" towards full WTO membership for all its Signatories: by implementing the applicable WTO provisions under the ECT, such countries become more familiar with the requirements and disciplines of WTO membership, thus assisting their preparations for full WTO accession.
With the aim of increasing the level of awareness among its member-states, and also general interested readers, of the trade regime that applies under the ECT following the adoption of the Trade Amendment, the Secretariat has issued a publication entitled "Applicable Trade Provisions of the Energy Charter Treaty", based on an earlier internal "transparency document" distributed to member countries.
The publication, available in English and Russian, contains the full texts of the specific ECT provisions relating to trade and those provisions of the 1994 Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the WTO (which includes GATT 1994) and the 1947 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT 1947) that apply under the ECT following adoption of the 1998 Trade Amendment to the Treaty. These texts are preceded by a user's guide to the applicable trade provisions of the ECT.
In issuing this publication, the intention is to provide a comprehensive volume, incorporating both the original ECT texts relating to trade, and a consolidated version including those WTO provisions made applicable "by reference".