Maritime Transport

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Possible Liberalization
of Maritime Transport Services through GATS

Table of Contents

1. Introduction.……………………………………………………………………………….3

2. Development of Negotiation Rounds……………………………………………………….

2.1. Uruguay Round and NGMTS……………………………………………………………4

2.2. Doha Round……………………………………………………………………………...5

3. The three pillars of the Maritime Schedule………………………………………………...6

4. Benefits of Liberalization of Maritime Trade……………………………………………….

4.1. Possible Profits of Liberalization of the three pillars under GATS…………………….....7

4.2. Liberalization of cabotage by means of the US example…………………………………8

5. Conclusion…………………………………………………………………………………..9

6. Bibliography……………………………………………………………………………….10

1. Introduction

Maritime transport is one of the most international transport modes to conduct international trade worldwide. It has and still is contributing its’ significant portion to the globalization process and has been continuously adapting its transport mode to the change of the consumer demand.

Furthermore as per Stopford Maritime Transport is defined as “one of the world’s most international industries”[1]. Thanks to its unique character nations worldwide are embedded in the shipping branch in various ways. Also as best described by Zhang in his thesis the unique characteristic of the shipping business is displayed by looking at the features it involves e.g. a certain vessel can be owned by a German company, registered in Panama, chartered out to Greeks, manned by crew consistent of for instance of Polish and Philippines and trade in the Asian Pacific Area. [2]

Even though above illustration shows that shipping is one of the most international segments in the transport industry, most common are so far only bilateral agreements between certain countries to cover the Maritime trade sector.[3] Despite the various trials and negotiation rounds in the past, starting of with the Uruguay round where negotiations began in year 1986 and lasted till 1993, the developments in NGMTS negotiations which ranged from 1994-1996 and the present Doha round which launched in 2001 and is still ongoing; the World Trade Organization (WTO) has so far failed to find a solution to integrate the Maritime Transport services into the Agreement of the General Agreement on Trades and Services (GATS). The result is that until today there is no Global regime which is governing international shipping.[4]

This paper should on the one hand show the developments of the Maritime Transport in the WTO and in GATS and explain the reasons why the Maritime negotiations under the WTO and GATS have so far failed. Furthermore the three pillars of maritime transport should be briefly defined and advantages for liberalization of maritime trade services in general should be discussed. Last but not least the particular issue of cabotage by means of the US example will be described and it will be investigated what outcome it would have to reach a Potential Maritime Agreement under GATS by weighting up the positive and negative effects.

2. Development of Maritime Negotiations and Reasons for failure so far

2.1. The Uruguay Round & NGMTS negotiations

The Uruguay Round negotiations were held in September 1986.One of the greatest achievements under Part II of the Uruguay Round was the inclusion of trade in services and later the establishment of the General Agreement on Trade and Services (GATS).

Maritime services negotiations between the 56 participants, among them on the industrial nation side the US, the EU & Japan and on the developing countries side lead by Brazil and India, were however only started in year 1991. They concentrated on three main fields (“three pillars”) which were adapted in form of a Maritime Model Schedule, which can be seen as a plan of procedure where each member chooses the service sector where it would like to implement market access, national treatment (nt) obligations, which is defined as non...
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