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(b) In addition, a Member may not seek, not take or maintain voluntary export restrictions, orderly marketing regimes or other similar measures on the export or import side. (3), (4) These include measures taken by a single Member and measures under agreements, agreements and arrangements concluded by two or more Members. Any measure in force on the date of entry into force of the WTO Agreement shall be brought into conformity with this Agreement or progressively repealed in accordance with paragraph 2. 4. In order to facilitate adaptation in a situation where the expected duration of a safeguard measure referred to in Article 12(1) is one year, the Member applying the measure shall progressively liberalise it during the period of validity. If the duration of the measure exceeds three years, the Member applying such a measure shall examine the situation no later than mid-term of the measure and, where appropriate, withdraw it or increase the pace of liberalization. A measure extended under paragraph 2 may not be more restrictive than at the end of the initial period and should continue to be liberalised. 3. The right of suspension referred to in paragraph 2 shall not be exercised during the first three years in which a safeguard measure is in force, provided that the safeguard measure was taken following an absolute increase in imports and that such a measure complies with the provisions of this Agreement. The SG Agreement was negotiated largely because the GATT parties were increasingly applying a large number of so-called “grey area” measures (voluntary bilateral export restrictions, orderly marketing agreements and similar measures) in order to limit imports of certain products.
These measures were not imposed in accordance with Article XIX and were therefore not governed by the multilateral discipline of the GATT, and the legality of such measures under the GATT was doubtful. The agreement now clearly prohibits such measures and contains specific provisions to eliminate those that were in force on the date of entry into force of the WTO agreement. . . .