WTO: 2011 NEWS ITEMS

DISPUTE SETTLEMENT

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NOTE:
This summary has been prepared by the WTO Secretariat’s Information and External 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.

Prior to the meeting, the DSB chair announced that China had notified the DSB of its decision to appeal (WT/DS394/11WT/DS395/11WT/DS398/10) the Panel reports that examined China’s export restrictions on raw materials. Consequently, the reports were not considered for adoption by the DSB and this issue was removed from the agenda. 

 

Panel report adoption

DS404: United States — Anti-dumping measures on certain shrimp from Viet Nam

The DSB adopted the Panel report (WT/DS404/R) which examined anti-dumping measures imposed by the US on certain frozen warm water shrimp from Viet Nam and the use of “zeroing”.

The Panel report was published on 5 July 2011 and according to Article 16.4 of the Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU), this report shall be considered by the DSB for adoption within 60 days after the date of publication, unless a party informs the DSB of its decision to appeal.

Viet Nam appreciated the cooperation of the US in this dispute and expected prompt and full implementation of the DSB ruling by the US. Viet Nam said that it would continue to cooperate with the US and discuss any issue in the implementation process.

With respect to zeroing, the US noted that the Panel simply adopted the reasoning of the Appellate Body in some prior disputes. The US believed that those reports, as well as the current Panel report, went beyond what the text of the agreements provided and what negotiators agreed to in the Uruguay Round. The US recalled that the Department of Commerce had announced a proposal to change the calculation of weighted average dumping margins and assessment rates in certain anti-dumping proceedings.

The EU stated that the WTO inconsistency of zeroing had now been definitively decided and that the US should take immediate steps to abandon this practice and to bring itself into conformity with its obligations.

 

Implementation

DS367: Australia — Measures Affecting the Importation of Apples from New Zealand

Australia presented its first status report to the DSB and reported on progress made to implement the DSB ruling (WT/DS367/20). Australia had until 17 August 2011 to implement the ruling. In this case, New Zealand challenged import restriction measures imposed by Australia on its apples.

Australia said that it adopted measures necessary to comply with the DSB recommendations. Australia undertook a science-based review of its pre-existing import policy for New Zealand apples with respect to the three pests at issue in this dispute. Australia said that, on 17 August 2011, it commenced issuing import permits for apples from New Zealand on the basis of this policy. Australia said that imports of New Zealand apples commenced on 19 August 2011. Australia concluded that it was in full compliance with the DSB ruling.

New Zealand welcomed the release of the new determination for the importation of its apples to Australia. New Zealand said that import permits had been granted and trade commenced.  New Zealand expected the main flow of exports would begin early 2012 with the new season harvest. New Zealand said that this ended what has effectively been a 90-year prohibition on the importation of New Zealand apples to Australia. New Zealand said that Australia required the use of several commercial practices for the production of apples. According to New Zealand, while these measures may reflect current practice, the imposition of such measures was not supported by sufficient scientific evidence. New Zealand said they went beyond a requirement for mature, symptomless apples subjected to standard border inspection procedures.  New Zealand stated that it agreed to provide assurances required by Australia, on the basis that they may result in commercially meaningful access. For this reason, New Zealand questioned whether Australia had fully complied with the DSB ruling. New Zealand added that it was informed of a proposal to introduce a Private Members Bill in the Australian Senate to prevent the importation of its apples. New Zealand also mentioned that some states had indicated they would seek to prevent the entry of its apples. New Zealand urged Australia to continue to resist such proposals strongly.

DS397: European Communities — Definitive anti-dumping measures on certain iron or steel fasteners from China

The Panel and Appellate Body reports (WT/DS397/R and WT/DS397/AB/R) which reviewed anti-dumping measures taken by the EU on imports of iron and steel products from China were adopted on 28 July 2011.

According to the WTO rules (Article 21.3 of the DSU), the EU had 30 days after the adoption of the reports to inform the DSB of its intentions regarding implementation.

As agreed with China, the EU informed the DSB of its intentions to implement the rulings by written notification within the 30-day timeframe (WT/DS397/12).

The EU reiterated its intention to implement the DSB's rulings in a manner that met its WTO obligations and asked for a reasonable period of time (RPT) to do so.

China thanked the EU for its written notification regarding its intention to implement the DSB rulings and looked forward to the EU's actions to bring its measures in compliance with its obligations. China said it was ready to discuss the RPT with the EU.

DS371: Thailand — Customs and fiscal measures on cigarettes from the Philippines

The Panel and Appellate Body reports (WT/DS371/R and WT/DS371/AB/R), which reviewed Thailand’s measures on cigarettes imported from the Philippines, were adopted on 15 July 2011.

According to the rules (Article 21.3 of the DSU), Thailand has to state its intention regarding implementation within 30 days of the date of adoption.

As agreed with the Philippines, Thailand informed the DSB of its intention to implement the rulings by written notification within the 30-day timeframe (WT/DS371/12).

Thailand confirmed its intention to implement the DSB's rulings and said it would need a reasonable period of time (RPT) to do so. Thailand said it was currently discussing this issue with the Philippines.

The Philippines thanked Thailand for its written notification regarding its intention to implement the DSB's rulings and confirmed it was engaged in consultations for the determination of the RPT. The Philippines said that there was an agreement with Thailand that these discussions may go beyond 45 days (as provided by Article 21.3.b of the Dispute Settlement Understanding) and added that both countries would issue a joint communication of the agreement to extend the 45-day period after the meeting today. The Philippines also said that it looked forward to full implementation.

 

Appellate Body members selection process

The DSB Chair, Ambassador Johansen (Norway), announced that four candidates had been proposed by three countries (Pakistan, India and the US) to fill the upcoming vacant posts in the Appellate Body.

Nominations of candidates should have been submitted by 31 August 2011.

She said that these candidates will be interviewed by the Selection Committee, comprising the Director-General and the 2011 Chairpersons of the General Council, Goods Council, Services Council, TRIPS Council and the DSB, during September and October. During this time, the Selection Committee would also consider members views, either at hearings or in written form.

The DSB Chair added that the objective of the Selection Committee was to make a recommendation by 10 November 2011 at the latest for the DSB to take a final decision at its 21 November meeting.

  

Next meeting  back to top

The next meeting of the DSB will be held on 27 September 2011.

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