OECD countries have agreed on further liberalisation commitments in the areas of insurance and private pensions. The OECD Code of Liberalisation of Current Invisible Operations has been amended to broaden the insurance obligations of the Code and introduce new obligations on private pensions, thereby establishing a new, high standard for cross-border trade in insurance and private pensions services.
The Code of Liberalisation of Capital Movements and the Code of Liberalisation of Current Invisible Operations constitute legally binding rules, stipulating progressive, non-discriminatory liberalisation of capital movements, the right of establishment and current invisible transactions (mostly services). Implementation of the Codes, in particular by removal of restrictions on cross-border capital flows and trade in services and the concomitant lifting of country reservations against the Codes, involves "peer pressure" exercised through country examinations to encourage unilateral rather than negotiated liberalisation. OECD countries have accepted under the Codes that they may not introduce new barriers. This means that countries can evolve only in the direction of progressive liberalisation.
As permitted under the Code of Liberalisation of Current Invisible Operations, countries were invited to lodge reservations where they were not in position to accept the new obligations on insurance and private pensions, and reconsider their existing reservations by reference to existing domestic regulations. The adoption by the OECD Council, on 19 February 2008, of the report on the seventh examination of members’ reservations to the insurance and private pensions provisions of the Code of Liberalisation on Current Invisible Operations completed the examination process.
The report demonstrates that progress has been made toward greater liberalisation within the OECD, with some countries limiting or withdrawing existing reservations, and other countries not needing to introduce reservations in response to some of the new or extended obligations. Transparency also increased, with the introduction of new reservations by a number of OECD countries serving to highlight domestic restrictions on cross-border trade and establishment in insurance and private pension services. The updates provided by Canada and the U.S. on sub-national measures also served to enhance transparency.
In agreeing to the publication of the report, OECD countries wish to demonstrate their commitment to further liberalisation of insurance and private pension services and to bring attention to the progress achieved to date by OECD member countries in advancing towards greater liberalisation and transparency.
Download the full text of the report.
Download the full text of the OECD Code of Liberalisation of Current Invisible Operations: 2004 which includes the revised insurance and private pensions provisions of the Code which were adopted by the OECD Council on 19 February 2008.