Free Trade Agreements

Oman is a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) which consists of Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Saudi Arabia. Membership confers special trade and investment privileges within those countries. The GCC is become a full-fledged customs union and a unified tariff of 5% on foreign imports is applied on all the GCC countries by the beginning of 2003. Oman is also a member of the Arab League. Recently, Arab League states have agreed to negotiate an Arab Free Trade Zone. Under the arrangement, countries should negotiate tariff reductions of 10 percent per year. Provision may be made for more expeditious tariff reductions on a reciprocal basis between Arab States.

Under the agreement, all agricultural, animal, industrial, and natural resource products from member states are exempt from duties and other charges when traded among member states. To qualify as a GCC national product, the value added in a GCC member state must not be less than 40 percent of the final value, and produced in a factory with at least 51 percent local ownership, unless 100 percent is owned by GCC nationals, and licensed by the respective Ministry of Finance and Industry. All intra-GCC shipments claiming this exemption must be accompanied by a duly authenticated certificate of origin.

Oman has been a WTO member since 9 November 2000.

Oman and the WTO