Over the years, the Council has exempted certain organizations of an international character from their financial obligations in defraying the expenses of ITU conferences and meetings.
Criteria and guidelines
1.1 In accordance with No. 476 of the Convention, the Council may exempt organizations of an international character from payment of membership fees, subject to “reciprocity". The “reciprocity" is taken to refer to the mutual and similar benefits that could accrue to both ITU and the organization concerned as a result of the latter participating in the relevant activities of ITU.
1.2 To fulfil the conditions which lead to such a reciprocal arrangement, the organization concerned shall meet
all of the following criteria:
– be an organization of international character dealing with telecommunications;
– be a legally-recognized non-profit organization, representing members which also have non-profit status;
– have a significant membership, presence and activities in multiple Member States whose participation in ITU activities would be beneficial to the aims of the Union;
– allow ITU to be represented at and participate in the organization's meetings free of charge and with the rights and benefits available to their members;
– allow ITU access to relevant documentation, including information available only to their members.1
1.3 In reaching a decision as to the granting of an exemption, the Council shall take account of views expressed by the Secretary-General. Such views shall identify:
– the advantages for ITU of participation of the organization in ITU's activities;
– the benefits arising from participation of ITU in the activities of the organization.
2.1 Each application for exemption shall be submitted, in writing, to the Secretary-General. It shall be presented to the Council for consideration, accompanied by evidence justifying the application (§ 1.2) and by comments from the Secretary-General (§ 1.3).
2.2 The Secretary-General will examine the request for exemption according to the criteria as stipulated in §§ 1.2 and 1.3 above and will report to the forthcoming session of Council, as appropriate.
2.3 If the application for exemption is approved by the Council, it will take immediate effect from the date of the plenary meeting at which the decision is taken. Unless otherwise decided by the Council in exceptional circumstances, the exemption shall not be granted retroactively. Entities exempted by the Council remain responsible for any amounts owed prior to the effective date of exemption.
2.4 The exemption shall be valid until the following plenipotentiary conference, although the Council may at any time choose to revoke the exemption status from an entity which no longer fulfils the criteria noted above. Each plenipotentiary conference will review the list of exempted entities and decide which ones will continue to benefit from exempted status.
2.5 The list of exempted entities shall be made publically available on the ITU website.
This means providing reciprocal access to information/documentation similar to that provided by ITU to its members through the TIES restricted access system.