During the 19th and 20th of May 2003 the Eighth Meeting of the Negotiators Standing Sub-Group (NSSG) took place at the Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik (Garching, Germany). The meeting was originally scheduled in Canada one month earlier but had to be rescheduled due to the SARS problem in Toronto. The meeting covered many different issues relating to the Negotiations, such as procurement allocation, procurement systems, management structure, staffing, intellectual property rights, decommissioning, financial regulations as well as the drafting of the Joint Implementation Agreement. Prior to the main two-day NSSG meeting, a number of technical discussions lasting several days took place within subgroups and progress was made in these areas.