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GATS & Telecom Reasonable regulation. Right to Regulate Members,... Recognizing the right of Members to regulate, and to introduce new regulations,...

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Presentation on theme: "GATS & Telecom Reasonable regulation. Right to Regulate Members,... Recognizing the right of Members to regulate, and to introduce new regulations,..."— Presentation transcript:

1 GATS & Telecom Reasonable regulation

2 Right to Regulate Members,... Recognizing the right of Members to regulate, and to introduce new regulations,... in order to meet national policy objectives and given asymmetries existing with respect to the degree of development of services regulations in different countries, the particular need of developing countries to exercise this right... Agree as follows... GATS Preamble

3 Reasonable Regulation

4 What is reasonable? Transparent Non-discriminatory Objective Impartial Timely Least burdensome Necessary Least (trade) restrictive

5 Non-discrimination

6 Most-favoured-nation Treatment MFN is critical - it makes WTO truly multilateral … each Member shall accord immediately and unconditionally to services and service suppliers of any other Member treatment no less favourable than that it accords to like services and service suppliers of any other country GATS Art. II:1 Non-discrimination

7 MFN Treatment No discrimination among the foreign services or service suppliers of Members Moreover...MFN applies whether or not a commitments has made on telecom in its schedule ! In telecom, MFN is particularly important in privatization, licensing or tendering GATS Art. II

8 Non-discrimination National Treatment Each Member shall accord to foreign services and services suppliers treatment no less favorable than that it accords to its own like services and service suppliers GATS Art. XVII

9 National Treatment è no discrimination against foreign services or service suppliers compared with domestic ones è applies to any degree of discrimination in all types of measures è no discrimination on a de jure or de facto basis In Schedules, limitations can allow preferences to domestic services or suppliers but, national treatment departures are not common in telecom commitments GATS Art. XVII Non-discrimination

10 Access and use ensure that any service supplier... is accorded access to and use of [PTTNS] on reasonable and non-discriminatory* terms and conditions, for the supply of a service in its Schedule * "non-discriminatory" is understood to refer to most-favoured-nation and national treatment... as well as... sector-specific usage... "terms and conditions no less favourable than those accorded to any other user of like [PTTNS] under like circumstances" Non-discrimination In telecom... Annex on Telecoms, Sec. 5(a)

11 Interconnection with a major supplier will be ensured... under non-discriminatory terms, conditions... and rates and of a quality no less favourable than that provided for its own like services or for like services of non-affiliated service suppliers or for its subsidiaries or other affiliates;... Reference Paper, Para. 2.2(a) Non-discrimination In telecom...

12 Universal service Such obligations will not be regarded as anti-competitive per se, provided they are administered in a transparent, non-discriminatory and competitively neutral manner and are not more burdensome than necessary... Reference Paper, Para. 3 Non-discrimination In telecom...

13 Allocation & use of scarce resources Procedures for the allocation and use of scarce resources, including frequencies, numbers and rights of way, will be carried out in an objective, timely, transparent and non-discriminatory manner. Reference Paper Para. 6 Non-discrimination In telecom...

14 Reasonableness

15 Core obligation Ensure that all measures of general application affecting trade in services are administered in a reasonable, objective and impartial manner GATS Art. VI:1 Reasonableness

16 Access and use ensure that any service supplier... is accorded access to and use of [PTTNS] on reasonable and non-discriminatory terms and conditions, for the supply of a service included in its Schedule Annex on Telecoms, Sec. 5(a) Reasonableness In telecom

17 Ensure interconnection is provided in a timely fashion, on terms, conditions (including technical standards & specifications) and cost-oriented rates that are transparent, reasonable, having regard to economic feasibility,... Reference paper, Para. 2.2(b) Reasonableness In telecom

18 Interconnection Dispute Settlement A service supplier... will have recourse, either: at any time or after a reasonable period of time... to an independent domestic body... to resolve disputes regarding appropriate terms, conditions and rates for interconnection within a reasonable period of time... Reference paper, Para. 2.5 Reasonableness In telecom

19 Ensure that all measures of general application affecting trade in services are administered in a reasonable, objective and impartial manner GATS Art. VI:1 Define it?

20 "measure" means any measure by a Member,... a law, regulation, rule, procedure, decision, administrative action, or any other form GATS Art. XXVIII(a) measures?

21 Ensure that all measures of general application affecting trade in services are administered in a reasonable, objective and impartial manner GATS Art. VI:1 Define it?

22 Includes measures related to purchase, payment or use of a service access to and use of, in connection with the supply of a service, services required to be offered to the public generally the presence, including commercial presence, of persons of a Member for the supply of a service in the territory of another Member GATS Art. XXVIII(c) affecting trade in services?

23 supply of a service includes – production – distribution – marketing – sale – delivery GATS Art. XXVIII(b)

24 Ensure that all measures of general application affecting trade in services are administered in a reasonable, objective and impartial manner GATS Art. VI:1 Define it?

25 to manage or supervise the execution of carry out, govern, render administer? Merriam-Webster Online

26 The core obligation concerns the manner in which measures are administered or implemented... but not the nature or content of the measures themselves... other obligations may apply in this respect administer?

27 Ensure that all measures of general application affecting trade in services are administered in a reasonable, objective and impartial manner GATS Art. VI:1 Define it?

28 not extreme or excessive having a rational ground or motive logical, sensible, sound Reasonable Merriam-Webster Online

29 Precedent: Panel Reports –appropriate or suitable to the circumstances or purpose –Flexibility and balance are also part of the notion of "reasonable" Reasonable Report of the Panel, Mexico – Measures affecting Telecommunications Services

30 Precedent: Panel Reports The word 'reasonable' implies a degree of flexibility that involves consideration of all of the circumstances of a particular case. What is 'reasonable' in one set of circumstances may prove to be less than 'reasonable' in different circumstances.... In sum, a "reasonable period" must be interpreted consistently with the notions of flexibility and balance that are inherent in the concept of "reasonableness", and in a manner that allows for account to be taken of the particular circumstances of each case. Reasonable Appellate Body Report, US – Hot-Rolled Steel

31 Objective Impartial Timely

32 Ensure that all measures of general application affecting trade in services are administered in a reasonable, objective and impartial manner GATS Art. VI:1 Define it?

33 expressing or dealing with facts or conditions as perceived without distortion reducing subjective factors to a minimum fair, equitable, impartial, nondiscriminatory, unbiased, Objective Merriam-Webster Online

34 treating or affecting all equally fair, equal, equitable, just nondiscriminatory, objective, unbiased Impartial Merriam-Webster Online

35 Administrative appeals maintain or institute procedures for the prompt review of, and where justified, appropriate remedies for, administrative decisions Where such procedures are not independent of the agency entrusted with the decision concerned...ensure that the procedures in fact provide for an objective and impartial review GATS Art. VI:2(a) Objective & impartial

36 The decisions of and procedures used by regulators shall be impartial with respect to all market participants Reference Paper, Para. 5 Impartiality in Telecom...

37 Each Member shall publish promptly and, except in emergency situations, at the latest by the time of their entry into force, all relevant measures of general application... (Art III:1) Where authorization is required... within a reasonable period of time... inform the applicant of the decision... (Art VI:3) At the request of the applicant,... without undue delay, information concerning the status of the application. (Art VI:3) Timely? GATS Articles

38 Timely? Reference Paper --- Ensure interconnection is provided in a timely fashion, on terms, conditions... and cost-oriented rates that are transparent, reasonable...

39 Interconnection Dispute Settlement A service supplier... will have recourse, either: at any time or after a reasonable period of time... to an independent domestic body... to resolve disputes regarding appropriate terms, conditions and rates for interconnection within a reasonable period of time... Reference paper, Para. 2.5 Timely?

40 Domestic Regulation Work Program

41 A GATS Work Program is underway to ensure that Qualifications, technical standards, & licensing do not constitute unnecessary barriers to trade GATS Art. VI:4

42 Three principles guiding the work program Such requirements should be... based on objective & transparent criteria not more burdensome than necessary and that licensing procedures, not in themselves a restriction on the supply of the service GATS Art. VI:4 Domestic Regulation: Principles

43 Qualifications - technical standards - licensing Pending results of the work program, Members cannot apply requirements that nullify or impair commitments in a manner which could not reasonably have been expected when commitments were made This means: NEW requirements and related laws and regulations must comply with principles of the work program When was the last time you revised your telecom laws or regulations? GATS Art. VI:5 A standstill

44 Qualifications - technical standards – licensing based on objective & transparent criteria e.g. standards & criteria relate to competence and ability to supply the service not more burdensome than necessary e.g. standards and criteria relate ensuring the quality of the service licensing procedures not a restriction on the supply of the service e.g. streamlined or simplified procedures GATS Art. VI:4 The 3 principles

45 Qualifications - technical standards – licensing based on objective & transparent criteria... QUALITATIVE not more burdensome than necessary... QUALITATIVE... LEAST BURDENSOME... PROPORTIONATE TO THE OBJECTIVE licensing procedures not a restriction on the supply of the service e.g.... LEAST TRADE RESTRICTIVE GATS Art. VI:4 In a nutshell...

46 Necessary

47 Necessity? not constitute unnecessary barriers to trade (VI:4) not more burdensome than necessary (VI:4(b)) necessary to protect public morals or to maintain public order;... to protect human, animal or plant life or health;... to secure compliance with laws or regulations (XIV) GATS Articles

48 Necessity?...ensure that no condition is imposed on access to and use of public telecommunications transport networks and services other than as necessary... Annex on Telecoms, Sec. 5(e)

49 Necessity? Universal service Such obligations will not be regarded as anti- competitive per se, provided they are administered in a transparent, non-discriminatory and competitively neutral manner and are not more burdensome than necessary... Reference Paper Sec. 3

50 Necessity test?... may import absolute physical necessity or inevitability, or... that which is only convenient, useful, appropriate, suitable, proper, or conducive to the end sought... can refer to a range of degrees of necessity, depending on the context, and the object and purpose of the provision in which it is used... can be understood to mean "indispensable" to achieving a policy goal; [or]... taken to mean simply "making a contribution to" a policy goal [ * ] Report of the Panel, Mexico – Measures affecting Telecommunications Services * Appellate Body Report, Korea – Various Measures on Beef

51 Necessity? legitimate policy objectives? proportionality? least trade restrictive measures available to achieve the desired policy objective?

52 Policy objectives Ensure no condition is imposed on access & use other than as necessary to safeguard public service responsibilities to protect technical integrity to ensure that services supplied are permitted pursuant to commitments Also relevant to licensing & technical standards? Does this also help shed light on reasonableness? Annex on Telecoms, Para 5(e) Necessity & Reasonableness in Telecom

53 Who, how & when

54 Independent regulator The regulatory body is separate from, and not accountable to, any supplier of basic telecommunications services Who? Reference Paper, para. 5

55 How? Independence of the regulator Clear & adequate authority & powers? Selection & appointment mechanisms? Funding mechanisms? Legal mechanisms? GATS leaves the decisions on these issues to individual governments

56 How? To achieve reasonable regulation Maintain independence of regulatory authorities (legal and actual) Give regulator adequate enforcement authority & powers Maintain clear goals & objectives Always question the need for a regulation or requirement

57 Always ! When?


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