Only GATT contracting parties could have recourse to the procedures in Articles XXII and XXIII of the GATT 1947, and could therefore be parties to a GATT dispute. Disputes under the Tokyo Round codes could take place only between signatories to these agreements.

In the interest of accuracy, this database has maintained the historical names of disputing parties at the time of each dispute, e.g. Ceylon, Czechoslovakia, Hong Kong, the Federal Republic of Germany, Yugoslavia, or the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.

Although not a GATT contracting party in its own right, a number of disputes were initiated by or against the European Economic Communities (EEC) or its member States, which comprised a gradually growing number of GATT contracting parties over the decades. The EEC was initially composed of six member States, and subsequently enlarged to 9, 10 and 12 until the entry into force of the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization. Accordingly, this database makes reference to EEC-6, EEC-9, EEC-10 or EEC-12, and it also refers to individual EEC member States (e.g. France, Italy, etc.) for cases where they acted in their own capacity.