The “reasonable period” under Article XXIV, paragraph 5, point c), should only exceed 10 years in exceptional cases. If the members of an interim agreement believe that ten years would not be enough, they will have to explain in detail the trade in goods to the Council for a longer period of time. With regard to interim agreements, the working group`s report can make appropriate recommendations on the proposed timetable and on the measures necessary to complete the establishment of the customs union or free trade area. It may provide, if necessary, for a further revision of the agreement. Membership decisions are made by the ministerial conference. The Ministerial Conference approves the agreement on the terms of membership by a two-thirds majority of WTO members. Articles XXII and XXIII of the 1994 GATT, as drafted and applied in the Dispute Settlement Agreement, can be invoked for any issue raised by the application of The provisions of Article XXIV concerning unions, free trade zones or interim agreements leading to the establishment of a customs union or free trade area. Article XXIV, paragraph 6, defines the procedure to be followed when a member forming a customs union proposes an increase in the bound tariff rate. In this context, members reaffirmed that the procedure under Article XXVIII, as defined in the guidelines adopted on 10 November 1980 (BISD 27S/26-28) and in the agreement on the interpretation of Article XXVIII of the GATT 1994, must be initiated before tariff concessions are amended or withdrawn following the creation of a customs union or an interim agreement leading to the formation of a customs union. In the event of a conflict between a provision of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade in 1994 and a provision of another agreement in Schedule 1A of the World Trade Organization agreement (known as the “WTO agreement” in the Schedule 1A agreements), priority is given to the definition of the other agreement. The WTO is the forum for negotiation among its members on their multilateral trade relations in the areas covered by the affairs of this agreement. The WTO can also provide a forum for further negotiations among its members on their multilateral trade relations and a framework for the implementation of the outcome of these negotiations, as decided by the Ministerial Conference. There is a Council for Trade in Goods, a Council for Trade in Services and a Council on Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights That Affect Trade (`The TRIPS Council`), acting under the general direction of the General Council.
The Trade in Goods Council monitors the operation of the multilateral trade agreements in Schedule 1A. The Council for Trade in Services monitors the functioning of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (`GATS`). The TRIPS Council monitors the functioning of the agreement on aspects of intellectual property rights that affect trade (`TRIPS agreement`). These councils carry out the functions entrusted to them by their respective agreements and by the General Council. They decide on their internal regulations, subject to the agreement of the General Council. Membership in these councils is open to representatives of all members. These councils may meet to carry out their duties. These negotiations are being initiated in good faith in order to achieve a satisfactory compensatory adjustment for both parties.
These negotiations, as requested by Article XXIV, paragraph 6, take due account of tariff reductions made by other elements of the customs union when it was created on the same customs line.