This series of meetings and tariff reductions would continue and new GATT provisions would be incorporated into the process. The average rate of duty rose from about 22% when gatt was first signed in Geneva in 1947 to about 5% at the end of the Uruguay Round, concluded in 1993, which also negotiated the creation of the WTO. To support the latter process, a General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was signed by 90 countries after World War II in 1947. The aim was to promote more open, stable and transparent trade regulation at the global level and to combat protectionism and discrimination in order to facilitate a more comprehensive and efficient use of the world`s resources on the basis of expanding trade, leading to higher levels of employment, income and prosperity. The WTO was founded in 1995 as a successor to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) established after the Second World War. The WTO Agreements on Food Protection Measures are the Agreements on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS)2 and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT). SpS and TBT agreements complement each other, with both constituting the general legal basis for other legally binding international agreements and instruments to be adopted on a voluntary basis, such as the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (Karnicki, 1996). The SPS Agreement includes the following elements: relevant laws, decrees and regulations; testing, inspection, certification and approval procedures; and packaging and labelling requirements directly related to food safety. On the other hand, the TBT agreement covers issues such as all technical regulations on traditional quality factors, fraudulent practices, packaging and labelling. At the beginning of GATT, the focus was on reducing tariffs and import duties in order to promote trade and reduce protectionism. This has been largely achieved for industrial products over the many trade cycles.
Tariffs on trade in industrial products were reduced from about 40 percent to less than 5 percent between the introduction of GATT and the current implementation of the Uruguay Round. This process of tariff reduction is still in its infancy for agricultural and food products. The GATT contained three main provisions. The most important requirement was that each member should give each other most-favoured-nation status. All members must be treated equally with respect to rates. It excluded special customs duties among members of the British Commonwealth and the Customs Union. It allowed customs duties if their removal caused serious injury to domestic producers. .