- A Member State shall enter into consultations upon the request of another Member State where the requesting Member State alleges that an action taken by the requested Member State constitutes a breach of obligations arising from or under the provisions of this Treaty.
- Where a request for consultations is made pursuant to paragraph 1, the requested Member State shall enter into consultations within 14 days of the receipt of the request or a mutually agreed period.
(a) consultations have not been entered into within the period referred to in paragraph 2; or
(b) the consultations fail to settle the dispute within 45 days of the receipt of the request for consultations or the dates mutually agreed, the requesting Member State may resort to any mode of dispute settlement including arbitration and adjudication.
- Requests for consultations shall be in writing. The request shall state the reasons for the consultations and identify the measure at issue and the legal basis for the complaint.
- The Secretary-General shall be notified of any request for consultations.
- Consultations shall be confidential and without prejudice to the rights of the Member States in any further proceedings. However, before resorting to further proceedings, the Member States shall employ their best endeavours to settle the dispute.
- In cases of urgency including those concerning perishable goods, the requested Member State shall enter into consultations within 3 days of the receipt of the request, and where such consultations are not entered into, the requesting Member State may resort to arbitration and adjudication.
- Where consultations under paragraph 7 fail to settle the dispute within 7 days of the receipt of the request for such consultations, the requesting Member State may resort to arbitration and adjudication.
- Whenever a Member State, other than the consulting Member States, considers that it has a legitimate interest in consultations being held pursuant to this Article, such Member State may notify the consulting Member States and the Secretary-General, within 10 days after the date of the circulation of the request for consultations, of its desire to be joined in the consultations. Such Member State shall be joined in the consultations, provided that the requested Member State agrees that the claim of legitimate interest is well-founded and based on similar facts and circumstances. In that event, the Member States concerned shall notify the Secretary-General. If the request to be joined in the consultations is not granted, the applicant Member State may request consultations under paragraph 1 of this Article.