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38. The Consultation considered how to promote a standardized use of the Guide. It reviewed a number of conventions aiming to facilitate the comparison of studies based on the Guide. The conventions concern the use of methodology in the study as well as the report produced as a result of the study.

39. The Consultation agreed to propose the following conventions:

First convention: specify geographical and sub-sector scope of the study;

Second convention: list subsidies that have been identified and analyzed in the study;

Third convention: specify the benchmarks used for quantifying subsidies;

Fourth convention: allocation keys for joint subsidies to be clearly specified in the study;

Fifth convention: include administrative costs incurred by the provider as part of the cost of the subsidy to the provider;

Sixth convention: specify when opportunity costs to the subsidy provider have been included in the estimate of subsidies;

Seventh convention: base the value of direct financial transfers on the actual government expenditure - depreciated over time when appropriate - and the financial costs that the recipients may have avoided by the receiving the transfer.

Eighth convention: consider goods and services provided to the recipient to have a subsidy value corresponding to the difference between what the recipient would have paid for the equivalent goods and/or services if provided in the market and what he/she in fact paid to the public provider.

40. The Consultation then turned to the question of how to evaluate the various impacts of subsidies.

41. The document: “What makes a subsidy environmentally harmful: developing a checklist based on the conditionality of subsidies” was presented to the Consultation by Mr Anthony Cox, of the OECD secretariat. It was pointed out that the checklist is intended to be used in several economic sectors including fisheries, that it is a tool which may be used to rank subsidies according to their environmental effects but that it does not substitute in-depth study which would be needed to thoroughly document those effects. In fact, already in the OECD Workshop where the proposal was first made, some modifications had been made to the checklist which would make it more appropriate for fisheries. The Consultation was informed that in respect of fisheries, the OECD secretariat will now go ahead with case studies and with work on making the “policy filter” concept more explicit and precise.

42. The Consultation recognized the potential usefulness of the checklist but considered it important to work directly on applying available methodologies to assessing the impacts created by the actions of recipients of subsidies on the environment, trade, economic growth, social conditions.

43. The Consultation furthermore considered that, if FAO decides to develop a checklist for ranking subsidies according to their impacts, this work should be undertaken in close Consultation with relevant international organizations.

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