Regional Trade Agreements Custom Unions

(b) When, after reviewing the plan and timetable set out in an interim agreement in accordance with paragraph 5, in consultation with the parties to this agreement and taking due account of the information provided in accordance with paragraph (a), the contracting parties find that such an agreement is not in a position to lead to the establishment of a customs union or free trade area within the time frame set by the contracting parties or that this time frame is not appropriate. The parties do not suspend or implement this agreement if they are unwilling to amend it in accordance with these recommendations. 10. Contracting parties may adopt by a two-thirds majority of proposals that do not fully meet the requirements of paragraphs 5 to 9, provided that they lead to the establishment of a customs union or free trade area within the meaning of this article. 11. The unions and the constituent elements of free trade areas regularly report to the Goods Trade Council, as provided for by the Contracting PARTIES at the 1947 GATT in their instruction to the 1947 GATT Council on Regional Agreement Reports (BISD 18S/38) on the functioning of the agreement in question. Any substantial changes and/or developments in the agreements should be notified as soon as they occur. 4. The contracting parties recognize that it is desirable to increase trade freedom through the development of closer integration between the economies of the countries parties to these agreements through voluntary agreements. They also recognise that the objective of a customs union or free trade area should be to facilitate trade between the affected areas and not to create trade barriers for other contracting parties with these zones. 12. Articles XXII and XXIII of the 1994 GATT, as developed and implemented in the dispute settlement agreement, can be invoked for any issue arising from the application of the provisions of Article XXIV concerning unions, free trade zones or interim agreements leading to the establishment of a customs union or free trade area.