WTO: 2013 NEWS ITEMS

DISPUTE SETTLEMENT

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According to Japan, Russia’s measures appear to be inconsistent with its obligations under several articles of the GATT 1994, the Agreement on Trade Related Investment Measures (TRIMs) and the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT).

Japan claims that through the measures at issue, Russia imposes a recycling fee on each vehicle imported into Russia or produced/manufactured on the territory of Russia. Russia exempts from the recycling fee the vehicles manufactured or produced by companies that have committed to ensure subsequent safe handling of waste. However, this exemption is only available to vehicles manufactured by companies which are legal entities registered in Russia and which have undertaken to produce their vehicles in Russia according to one of the modes involving certain specific manufacturing operations in the territory of Russia, Belarus or Kazakhstan. Therefore, the measures at issue, through these conditions, either taken together or separately, discriminate between imported vehicles and the “like” domestic products.

In addition, the measures favour, according to Japan, the purchase of parts/components produced in Russia, Belarus or Kazakhstan over parts/components produced and imported from other WTO members, including Japan. Through the measures at issue, Russia also exempts from the recycling fee the vehicles imported from Belarus and Kazakhstan under certain conditions. This exemption is only granted to vehicles imported from Belarus and Kazakhstan and is not accorded immediately and unconditionally to the vehicles imported from other countries, including Japan. Japan also claims that the measures at issue have “investment objectives and investment features”.

> Further information will be available within the next few days in document WT/DS463/1

What is a request for consultations?

The request for consultations formally initiates a dispute in the WTO. Consultations give the parties an opportunity to discuss the matter and to find a satisfactory solution without proceeding further with litigation. After 60 days, if consultations have failed to resolve the dispute, the complainant may request adjudication by a panel.

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