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The Uruguay Round Understanding on Balance-of-Payments (BOP) substantially strengthened GATT disciplines on BOP measures.
Under the WTO, any Member imposing trade restrictions for BOP purposes must consult regularly with the BOP Committee to determine whether the use of such restrictions are necessary or desirable to address a Member's BOP difficulties. The BOP Committee works closely with the International Monetary Fund in conducting consultations.
Full consultations involve examining a Member's trade restrictions and balance-of-payments situation, while simplified consultations provide for more general reviews. Full consultations are held when restrictive measures are introduced or modified, or at the request of a Member in view of improvements in its balance-of-payments.
Use of the BOP provisions in the WTO is governed by the following agreements:
Articles XII and XVIII:B of GATT 1994
The Understanding on the Balance-of-payments Provisions of the GATT 1994
Article XII of the GATS
These agreements can be accessed on the WTO website.
Additional information on WTO work related to BOP can be accessed through the WTO website.
Documents related to the work of the BOP Committee can be accessed through the WTO "Documents Online" website. For help in navigating this website, select "Help" in the navigation bar at the top of the screen after opening the website.
Annual Reports of the BOP Committee to the General Council can be obtained by searching under the Document Code WT/BOP/R/% (where % takes additional values).
Background documents of the BOP Committee can be obtained by searching under the Document Code WT/BOP/S/% or WT/BOP/G/% (where % takes additional values).
Notifications to the BOP Committee can be obtained by searching under the Document Code WT/BOP/N/% (where % takes additional values).
The WTO Handbook on Balance of Payments can be obtained by searching under the Document Code WT/TC/NOTIF/BOP/1.