WTO: 2013 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.

DS462: Russian Federation — Recycling Fee on Motor Vehicles

The European Union referred to its statement made at the previous Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) meeting and reiterated its request for the establishment of a panel to examine Russia’s recycling fee on motor vehicles. Russia regretted the EU’s request for the establishment of a panel and said that the Russian president had signed the legislation eliminating and modifying sections of the existing utilisation fee regime which the EU had referred to in its request for the establishment of a panel. Russia believed that the matter could be resolved through consultations. The DSB established a panel. China, India, Japan, Korea, Norway, Turkey, Ukraine and the United States reserved their third-party rights to participate in the panel’s proceedings.

 

DS381: US — Measures Concerning the Importation, Marketing and Sale of Tuna and Tuna Products. Recourse to Article 21.5 of the Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU) by Mexico (compliance panel)

Mexico said that the US modification to its dolphin-safe labelling requirements had not complied with the DSB’s recommendations. In its view, the modification was inconsistent with the Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1994. Mexico recalled that, in August 2013, Mexico and the United States had concluded a sequencing agreement (WT/DS381/19). Because of that agreement, Mexico was not required to hold consultations with the US prior to requesting the establishment of an Article 21.5 panel.  The US said that the adoption of the final rule had brought it into compliance with the DSB’s recommendations and rulings within the reasonable period of time and that it was not in a position to agree to Mexico’s request for the establishment of a panel. The DSB deferred the establishment of a panel.

 

DS413: China — Certain Measures Affecting Electronic Payment Services

The United States said that it continued to have serious concerns that China had not implemented the DSB’s recommendations and rulings in this dispute. The US was concerned that China had not permitted any foreign supplier of electronic payment services to do business in China. China referred to its statements made at previous DSB meetings stating that it had fully implemented the DSB’s recommendations and rulings in this dispute. In its view, the US claims went beyond what was required and that the US had wrongly interpreted the DSB’s recommendations and rulings. China said that it had no further obligations and urged the US to reconsider the systemic impact of its position.

 

Status reports

The United States, the European Union and Thailand submitted status report on their implementation of the recommendations and rulings of the DSB.

 

Reappointment of Appellate Body member

The Chair recalled the DSB decision of 24 May 2013 requesting him to carry out consultations on the possible reappointment of Mr Peter Van den Bossche for a second four-year term as an Appellate Body member. Based on his consultations, he proposed that the DSB agree to reappoint Mr Van den Bossche. The DSB agreed to reappoint Mr Van den Bossche for a second four-year term starting on 12 December 2013.

 

Appellate Body vacancy

With regard to the vacancy in the Appellate Body, the Chair said that the Selection Committee had not been able to complete its deliberations on a recommendation regarding a new member of the Appellate Body due to the intensive consultation process in preparation for the Ninth Ministerial Conference (MC9).  He informed delegations that the Selection Committee would resume its deliberations after MC9, with a view to making its recommendation as soon as practicable thereafter.

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