OEEC.SBT Steering Board for Trade

Documents from [1950] to [1961]

Identity Statement

Reference Code
Extent and Medium

93 files, 3 microfilms

Reference Archivists

Mary, Carr


Administrative and Biographical History

The Steering Board for Trade was along with the Board of Management of the EMA and the Committee for Invisible Transactions one of the three restricted Committees of the OEEC . The Steering Board for Trade was established by a decision of Council of the Organisation of 18th April 1952. It consisted of seven members, appointed each year by the Council, selected personally on the nomination of Member countries by reason of their knowledge of questions of trade policy or in their own country. They sat as independent experts and not as national representatives. The Executive Secretary of the GATT or his representative was invited to take part in certain proceedings of the Steering Board for Trade since the Council decided in December 1959, to establish co-operation with the GATT with a view to world-wide liberalisation of trade. He was entitled to take part in discussions but not to vote on decsions. The Steering Board was assisted by Alternates. As a rule the Board met at least once a month and the Alternates were in almost continual session.;The Steering Board for Trade was the competent body in matters of trade policy. It was responsible for considering : the rules of commerical policy to be pursued by the Member Countries, including any amendments to the existing decisions of the Council relating to commerical policy which were required, all questions in connection with the interpretation or implementation of the decisions of the Council relating to commercial policy. The reports and proposals made by the Steering Board under its terms of reference and the recommendations which it made were considered by the Joint Trade and Payments Committee, which made any comments it deemed necessary. They were then submitted to the Council, which is the only body entitled to approve them.;The Steering Board was responsible in particular for examining the rules of trade policy to be followed by member countries and all questions relating to the interpretation or application of the provisions laid down by the Organisation in trade matters, as well as for making to the Council any appropriate proposals in this connection. In particular, The Board was responsible for ascertaining, whenever it thought necessary, how far the economic situation of a member country enabled it to fulfil its commitments satisfactorily or, on the contrary, called for action to avoid such a country having to resort to the escape clauses. It was also required to examine notifications or references made to the organisation.;The principal tasks of the Steering Board lay in: the application of the code of liberalisation and of Council decisions in the matter of trade policy, the examination of the situation of countries which had invoked the escape clauses in the Code of Liberalisation (Turkey and Iceland), examination of the effects of the convertibility of European currencies and the coming into effect of the EMA on the trade policy of member countries, study of export programmes of member countries, liaison with Ministerial Committee for Agriculture and the Steering Committee for Nuclear Energy.

Content and Structure


Subject files dealing with creation and action of the SBT, liberalisation of trade, quantitative restrictions, relaxation of restrictive mesures, overseas territories, studies by products namely fisheries, agriculture and nuclear sector, invocation analisys, aid to exporters, export credits state trading, custom tariffs, and code of liberalisation.

System of Arrangement

The subfonds has been arranged and described according to documents TDF/TD/1437 - List of problems discussed by the Steering Board and OECD/C(61)23 - Action of the Steering Board of Trade 1952-1961 , included in file OEEC 608

Conditions of Access and Use


English, French

Allied Materials

Location of Originals
Existence of Copies
Historical Archives of the European Union

We have digital copies only of selected OEEC documents

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