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The EU and the WTO | Nairobi, 16 December 2015

EU welcomes Liberia to the World Trade Organization

Nairobi – The Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization, the highest WTO decision-making body, today welcomes the accession of Liberia. Once it has ratified this decision, Liberia will become the 163rd Member of the World Trade Organization.

‘The EU is very pleased to welcome Liberia – our partner in the Africa-Caribbean-Pacific group – as a new member of the WTO,’ said EU Trade Commissioner Malmström. ‘This is a clear and tangible demonstration of our joint commitment to integrate the world's least developed countries into the global trading system.’
‘By acceding the WTO, Liberia will be able to reap the benefits of a system that ensures a level-playing field for all – a strong system based on rules.’

Together with Afghanistan, Liberia is one of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) set to join the WTO at the tenth Ministerial Conference. The EU has been supporting the country throughout its accession process, also in the context of EU-ACP collaboration.

Background

Liberia submitted its application to the WTO in 2007. The EU approached this accession taking account of the WTO guidelines on LDCs’ accession. Taking account of Liberia's LDC status, Members agreed to grant Liberia additional transitional periods in a number of fields, for instance trading rights, customs valuation, Technical barriers to trade (TBT), Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary issues (SPS) and intellectual property rights.

The average final bound rate in the accession schedule of Liberia is 26.6 %. The average final bound rate for agricultural products is 23.6%, lower than the 27.2% observed for industrial goods.

Liberia will have to ratify the deal by 15 June 2016.


For more information

10th World trade Organization Ministerial Conference in Nairobi – 15-18 December 2015