Volume 12 (2017) / Issue 2
This article analyses the position and the legal effect of the Agreement on Rules of Origin (ARO) during the harmonization work programme (HWP) and after, with a focus on Article 1 of the ARO and the application of anti-dumping duties. Article 1 of the ARO lists various non-preferential commercial policy instruments where rules of origin play a crucial role. This includes the application of anti-dumping duties. The Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) should have harmonized rules of origin in their legislation since 1998. However, the HWP is still on hold and has not been finalized. Often it is said that the application of anti-dumping duties is the reason why HWP is not concluded. Members of the WTO also argue whether non-preferential rules of origin are at all necessary. The focus has shifted away from non-preferential rules of origin, because of the proliferation of free trade agreements. However, this should not be the case as Article 1 of the ARO and the rules applicable during the transition period create specific obligations to WTO Members that should eliminate the questions Members raise to block harmonization of rules of origin.
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