Protocol  Interpretative Notes

Article 1, paragraph 1


Notwithstanding the provisions of Article IV of this Framework Agreement, two or more Member States may conduct negotiations and agree to liberalize trade in services for specific sectors or sub-sectors (hereinafter referred to as “the participating Member States”). Any extension of such preferential treatment to the remaining Member States on an MFN basis shall be voluntary on the part of the participating Member States.


This approach shall be used to expand and deepen liberalization of service sectors or sub-sectors, including sectors or sub-sectors agreed under the common sub-sector approach.


Any preferential treatment extended to the remaining Member States on a voluntary basis shall be unconditional, non-discriminatory and without the need for reciprocity.

Article 1, paragraph 2


The participating Member States shall keep the remaining Member States informed through the ASEAN Secretariat of the progress or result of the negotiations, including the scheduling of commitments for the specific sectors or sub-sectors concerned. Member States wishing to join any on-going negotiations among the participating Member States may do so in consultation with the participating Member States.

Consultation with the participating Member States shall be undertaken with a view to facilitate and encourage the participation of the remaining Member States.


Article 1, paragraph 3:


Any Member State which is not a party to any agreement reached pursuant to paragraph 1 may in due course become a party to such an agreement upon making offers at similar or acceptable levels to the participating Member States.


The reference to “acceptable level” here applies only to offers made by Member States wishing to join an agreement reached pursuant to paragraph 1 of Article 1 of this protocol and deemed acceptable by all the participating Member States, taking into account developmental differences, both in terms of economic and stage of development of the particular sector.


The participating Member States shall not require a higher level of commitments from the remaining Member States than their respective commitments under theagreement.

Article 2, paragraph 1:


This Protocol shall enter into force on 31 December 2004.

All Member States undertake to complete their internal procedures for the entry into force of this protocol on or before 31 December 2004and to inform the ASEAN Secretariat of the date of completion.