Contributing Lawyers


Cyndee Todgham Cherniak

United States

Susan Kohn Ross


Andrew Hudson

WTO Goods Committee Approves Extension of Goods Waiver for LDCs

On May 12, 2009, the WTO Council for Trade in Goods announced that the goods waiver allowing developed countries to unilaterally reduce duties on imports of goods from lesser developed countries was being extended for 10 more years. The previous goods waiver was set to expire on June 30, 2009. The waiver still must be approved by the WTO General Council.

As a general rule, WTO Members must treat all WTO Members the same (most-favoured-nation treatment) and not grant preferences to some countries that are not made available to all. The waiver allows an exception to the most-favoured-nation rule. Developed countries (e.g. the EC Countries, the United States, Canada, etc.) may grant preferential tariff rates (usually 0%) to good from the poorest countries (called Lesser Developed Countries).

Lesser developed countries (also called Least developed Countries) are countries, which according to the United Nations exhibit the lowest socio-economic development on a variety of indicators. For a list of lesser developed countries, please go to the following link -


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