GATT Document symbols

The unique and most commonly referred to identifier of a GATT official document. The symbol is the counterpart of the call or shelf number that is used commonly in libraries to identify books and other loan items. The symbol can be more or less complex according to the series in which the document is being issued, its subject or its type.

Each symbol is made up of a combination of letters, numbers and suffixes. Letters are used to identify series, types and the status of documents while numbers are used to indicate sequential order. Documents are numbered in chronological order of issue and some documents may have more than one symbol.

GATT symbols are typically based on either the issuing body or the subject matter of the document. Unlike WTO document symbols, they are not hierarchical. While no formal nomenclature existed for coining GATT symbols, a mnemonic approach was adopted as far as possible - for example:

 AG Committee on Trade in Agriculture
 C Council
 MIN Ministerial Meeting
 MTN Multilateral Trade Negotiations
 PREP.COM Preparatory Committee
 VAL Committee on Customs Valuation

The different elements of the symbol are combined using "/" or "." or "(  )" :

 TN.56/1 Tariff Negotiations - 1956 [document n° 1]
 TN(LDC)9

 Trade Negotiations Committee of Developing Countries - Proceedings of the Third Meeting
- Held at the Palais des Nations, Geneva, on Monday, 24 June 1968, at 3 p.m. [document n° 9]

In some symbols, a year appears within parentheses (YY) :

 INT(60)75 Internal 1960 (document n° 75)
 MTN.TNC/MIN(88)/ST/28  

 Trade Negotiations Committee - Meeting at Ministerial Level, Montreal, December 1988
- Sri Lanka - Statement by Mr. Lalith Athulathmudali, Minister of Trade and Shipping [document n° 28]

Examples:

ADP/W/46  INF/53/Add.1
SCM/W/41 L/1248
AIR/12 MIN(63)INF/1
COM.AD/4/Add.5/Corr.1