WTO: 2008 NEWS ITEMS

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NOTE:
This summary has been prepared by the WTO Secretariat’s Information and Media Relations Division to help public understanding about developments in WTO disputes. It is not a legal interpretation of the issues, and it is not intended as a complete account of the issues. These can be found in the reports themselves and in the minutes of the Dispute Settlement Body’s meetings.

Adoption of rulings  back to top

The panel reports were circulated on 29 February 2008. Both cases concern the enhanced continuous bond requirement (EBR) which has been imposed by US Customs since 1 February 2005 on imports of frozen warmwater shrimp subject to anti-dumping duties. As a result of the EBR, importers of shrimp from certain countries into the US are required to post (i) cash deposits equal to the margin of dumping found to exist in the original investigation or the most recent assessment review; (ii) a basic bond amount (required from all importers of merchandise into the US); and (iii) an enhanced continuous bond (equivalent to 100 per cent of the anti-dumping or countervailing duty rate established in the original anti-dumping or countervailing duty order, or the most recent administrative review, multiplied by the value of imports made by the importer during the previous 12 months).

Thailand and India appealed on 17 April 2008, and the US appealed on 29 April 2008. Due to their similar subject matter, both appellate proceedings were consolidated and a single Appellate Body report was issued on 16 July 2008.

 

Removal of agenda item  back to top

The panel report in the case “India — Additional and Extra-Additional Duties on imports from the United States” (DS360) was removed from the agenda at the start of the meeting following the announcement by the Chairman that the US had notified the DSB of its decision to appeal the panel report.

Expression of views under Article 17.14 of the DSU prior to the adoption of an Appellate Body report

This item was inscribed on the agenda at the request of the EC. The EC made a statement about the expression of views in the DSB and the subsequent circulation of documents containing such comments, especially regarding the content, length and format of such circulated statements. Japan's understanding of the thrust of the EC statement was its concern that the authority of adopted Appellate Body reports and the mandatory nature of unconditional acceptance of reports by the parties should not be undermined by particular ways and forms in which members express their views on those reports. Other delegations spoke to say that they would appreciate a period of reflection before returning for a further discussion.

 

Other business  back to top

The EC made a statement concerning implementation in the “salmon” case (DS337). The EC recalled that the panel report was adopted on 15 January 2008, and that it did not call for the repeal of the anti-dumping measure in question. Norway and the EC had mutually agreed that the reasonable period of time for implementation would expire on 15 November 2008. The EC stated that it had already taken a number of implementation steps.

The EC informed the DSB that, unrelated to the WTO proceedings and prior to the adoption of the panel report, five EU member states on 20 February 2007 had requested under the EC Basic Regulation an interim partial review of the measure challenged by Norway. The review has now concluded, announced the EC, and has resulted in the withdrawal of the measure effective 20 July 2008. The EC stated that as a result no further action was required by the EC in terms of compliance under the WTO panel proceedings.

Norway spoke briefly. It appreciated that the EC had now repealed the anti-dumping measures against farmed Norwegian salmon. Norway noted “with some surprise” that the repeal was coupled with a special surveillance mechanism and that the European Commission can self-initiate a new investigation at any time over the next two and a half years. Norway said that it was difficult to see justification for subjecting salmon to such a special mechanism. For almost 20 years Norwegian salmon had been the subject of trade restrictive measures in the EU, said Norway.

  

Next meeting  back to top

The next regular meeting of the DSB is scheduled for 29 August 2008.

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