General Agreement on Trade in Services [GATS] Law and Legal Definition

General Agreement on Trade in Services [GATS] 1995, is an international trade agreement operating under the umbrella of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The GATS aims to remove gradually all barriers to trade in services. The agreement covers services as diverse as banking, education, healthcare, rubbish collection, tourism or transport. The GATS constitutes the legal framework through which WTO members progressively liberalize trade in services. The GATS tried to establish a multilateral framework of principles and rules for trade in services with a view to the expansion of trade.

The GATS agreement covers four modes of supply for the delivery of services in cross-border trade:

Cross-border supply Service - delivered within the territory of the member, from the territory of another Member;

Consumption abroad Service - delivered outside the territory of the member, in the territory of another Member, to a service consumer of the member;

Commercial presence Service - delivered within the territory of the member, through the commercial presence of the supplier Service supplier present within the territory of the Member Mode 4 - presence of a natural person service delivered within the territory of the member, with supplier present as a natural person