The Agreement on Safeguards (“SG Agreement”) sets forth the rules for application of safeguard measures pursuant to Article XIX of GATT 1994. Safeguard measures are defined as “emergency” actions with respect to increased imports of A particular product, where such imports have caused or threaten to cause serious injury to the importing Member’s domestic industry (Article 2). Such measures, which in broad terms take the form of suspension of concessions or obligations, can consist of quantitative import restrictions or of duty increases to higher than bound rates. This is one of the three types of contingent trade protection measures, along with anti-dumping and countervailing measures, available to WTO Members.
The guiding principles of the Agreement with respect to safeguard measures are that such measures must be temporary; that they may be imposed only when imports are found to cause or threaten serious injury to a competing domestic industry; that these measures (generally) be applied on a non-selective (i.e. most-favoured-nation, or “MFN”) basis; that those be progressively liberalized while in effect; and that the Member imposing the measures (generally) must pay compensation to the Members whose trade is affected. Thus, safeguard measures, unlike anti-dumping and countervailing measures, do not require a finding of an “unfair” practice and generally must be applied on MFN basis.
In its own words, the SG Agreement, which explicitly applies equally to all Members, aims to:
- clarify and reinforce GATT disciplines, particularly those of Article XIX;
- re-establish multilateral control over safeguards and eliminate measures that escape such control; and
- encourage structural adjustment on the part of the industries adversely affected by increased imports, thereby enhancing competition in international markets.
We also provide services to our clients relating to safeguard measures. When domestic industry of Pakistan is threatened to face serious injury due to sudden surge of imports of a particular product. We have the expertise to complete the challenging assignments in stipulated time period. The services include but not limited to: