Dec 14, 1990

EC, WITH U.S. OPPOSED, GETS WAIVER OVER GERMAN UNIFICATION.

GENEVA, DECEMBER 12 (BY CHAKRAVARTHI RAGHAVAN) The 46th annual session of the GATT Contracting Parties Wednesday granted the European Community waiver from MFN obligations till 31 December 1992 in relation to the trade under the agreements of the former GDR with East European countries.

The waiver which the EC had sought as a transition measure arising out of the German unification was agreed to by the CPs, on a roll call vote of 56 against 3 (Hong Kong, Japan and the United States) and five abstentions.

The waiver was granted under Art. XXV which requires two thirds majority of the votes cast and simple majority of the Contracting Parties who now number 100.

In seeking a waiver the EC has said it was ready to enter into consultations with any interested CP facing difficulties because of the waiver and the duty-free treatment and derogations for products imported from East Europe.

The United States had opposed the waiver being granted without the request being examined by a GATT working party.