The WTO Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) classifies national aid or government subsidies to farmers as different categories. An important type of subsidy or aid is the aggregate assistance measure (AMS). The AMS is synonymous with domestic support that distorts trade and is called an “amber box.” 28 members (the EC being one of them) had not exempted national aid during the reference period, and therefore the reduction commitments set out in their timetables. Reduction commitments are expressed in the form of an overall global support assessment (Total AMS) including all product-specific media and not product-specific support in a single digit. Members with a TOTAL SYSTEM must reduce the basic time allocation by 20% (members of industrialized countries) over a 6-year period or by 13% over a 10-year period (members of developing countries). In each year of implementation, the current total value of non-AMA-exempt measures must not exceed the overall amS limit, as outlined in this year`s schedule. In other words, the maximum levels of this support are linked to the WTO. The aggregate measure of aid consists of two parts: product-specific subsidies and non-product-specific subsidies. The product-specific subsidy covers the overall level of aid for each agricultural product. For example, AMS wheat is specifically subsidized for wheat. On the other hand, the non-product-specific subsidy relates to the total amount of aid to the agricultural sector as a whole, i.e. subsidies to inputs such as fertilizers, electricity, irrigation, seeds, credits, etc. As a general rule, these non-product subsidies are granted to all crops.
According to WTO standards, AMS can receive up to 10% of a country`s agricultural GDP for developing countries. On the other hand, the limit for a developed economy is 5%. This limit is called de minimis support level. The green box also provides for the use of direct payments to producers that are not related to production decisions, i.e.: