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Have Your Say On The International Treaty Examination Of The WTO Joint Initiative On Services Domestic Regulation

The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee is seeking public submissions about the international treaty examination of the World Trade Organization Joint Initiative on Services Domestic Regulation.

The joint initiative would implement new domestic regulation rules (or “disciplines”) aimed at increasing transparency, predictability and efficiency of authorisation procedures for service providers hoping to do business in foreign markets. Negotiations were concluded in December 2021 and New Zealand alongside 66 other World Trade Organization members adopted a Declaration announcing the successful conclusion.

Developing disciplines on services domestic regulations has been a long-standing trade policy objective for New Zealand. The disciplines in the Joint Initiative cover licensing and qualification requirements and technical standards, including obligations that require:

· authorities to allow a reasonable amount of time for submissions of applications

· authorities to accept authenticated and/or electronic versions of applications

· authorities to process applications in an efficient and transparent manner

· fees for authorisation to be reasonable and transparent

· the publication of procedures for obtaining, maintaining, amending and renewing authorisation

· stakeholders such as interested services suppliers to have an opportunity to comment on proposed laws and regulations affecting authorisation, as well as procedures and administrative rulings.

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No changes are proposed to New Zealand’s legislation specifically in response to the Joint Initiative. To give effect to the disciplines agreed to participants must inscribe them into their General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) Schedules as additional commitments under Article XVIII.

Tell the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee what you think

Make a submission on the treaty examination by 11.59pm on Sunday, 6 November 2022.

For more details about the bill:

· Read the Joint Initiative

· Read the National Interest Analysis

· Follow the committee's Facebook page for updates

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