Autonomous trade regimes for developing and least developed countries are authorized by the decision adopted in 1979 by the signatories to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) on differential and more favourable treatment, reciprocity and wider participation of developing countries (hereinafter referred to as the « enabling clause »). This is the WTO`s legal basis for the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP).  Free trade agreements and preferential trade regimes (as indicated by the WTO) are considered to be most-favoured-nation derogations.  In the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT 1994), free trade agreements were initially defined to cover only trade in goods.  An agreement with a similar purpose, i.e.: with a view to promoting the liberalization of services, Article V of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) is referred to as the « Economic Integration Agreement ».  However, in practice, the term is now often used to refer to agreements that include not only goods, but also services and even investments. Environmental provisions have also become increasingly common in international investment agreements, such as free trade agreements. :104 First, customs duties and other rules which are maintained in each of the signatory parties to a free trade area and which, at the time of the establishment of such a free trade area, apply to trade with parties not party to such a free trade area, shall not be higher or more restrictive than customs duties and other rules applicable in the same signatory Parties before the establishment of of the free trade area. In other words, the creation of a free trade area for preferential treatment among its members is legitimate under WTO law, but parties to a free trade area should not treat non-parties less favourably than before the establishment of the area.
A second requirement of Article XXIV is that tariffs and other barriers to trade must essentially eliminate all trade within the free trade area.  The Commercial Law Unit sets up the technical assistance programme at different levels, depending on the needs expressed by the country. Technical assistance can be provided in an integrated form or in the form of stand-alone modules. The integrated form reaches the different levels of a legal framework: from policy makers to work on the ratification of important treaties, to the extension of knowledge about ratified treaties in certain ministries (trade, foreign affairs, justice) and / or in other relevant public institutions, trade promotion organizations such as chambers of commerce and export associations, the academic community, through law and commerce. The world of the environment….