Mike Moore's speeches
Renato Ruggiero's speeches,
The IE was
established in December 1995 by the General Council pursuant to Article 4 of the WTO
Agreement on Preshipment Inspection, which calls for an independent review procedure to
resolve disputes between an exporter and a preshipment inspection (PSI) agency. The IE
became operational following confirmation from the ICC and the IFIA that the necessary
administrative and procedural requirements had been fulfilled - including the translation
and distribution to their affiliates and contacts around the world of the relevant
information and forms as well as the List of Experts for Independent Reviews.
IE's rules of
procedure call for quick resolution of disputes. Once a complaint is filed, the IE
appoints, depending upon the agreement of the parties, either a single independent trade
expert or a three-member panel, selected from the List of Experts (one each from the
sections nominated by the ICC and IFIA, respectively, and one from the section of
independent trade experts). The panel is required to make a decision, by a majority vote,
within eight working days from the filing of the dispute.
The full text of the General
Council decision, including the annexes on the
IE's rules of procedure and the application forms to be used in requesting an independent
review, is available upon request from the WTO Secretariat.
Note to editors:
inspection (PSI) is the government contracted or mandated employment of specialized
private companies to verify shipment details - essentially price, quantity and quality -
of goods ordered from overseas. Used currently by some 30 developing countries, mainly in
Africa, the purpose is to safeguard national financial interests (prevention of capital
flight and commercial fraud as well as customs duty evasion, for instance) and to
compensate for inadequacies in administrative infrastructures.
The WTO PSI
Agreement recognizes that GATT 1994 principles and obligations apply to the activities of
preshipment inspection agencies mandated by governments. The obligations placed on
PSI-user governments include non-discrimination, transparency, protection of confidential
business information, avoidance of unreasonable delay, the use of specific guidelines for
conducting price verification and the avoidance of conflicts of interest by PSI agencies.
The obligations of exporting members towards PSI users include non-discrimination in the
application of domestic laws and regulations and the provision of technical assistance
provides for expeditious settlement of disputes through an independent entity
constituted jointly by an organization representing preshipment inspection entities and an
organization representing exporters. WTO Members have decided that these
organizations would be the ICC and IFIA, respectively.
lodging a complaint in the IE would need to complete up an official form requesting an
independent review, and both parties would be required to make initial financial deposits.
The IE either appoints an independent trade expert or establishes a three-member panel,
depending on the preference of the parties, to review the case. The PSI Agreement provides
object of the review shall be to establish, whether, in the course of the inspection in
dispute, the parties to the dispute have complied with the provisions of this Agreement.
The procedures shall be expeditious and provide the opportunity for both parties to
present their views in person or writing.
the panel are taken by majority vote, and are rendered within eight working days of the
request for independent review. These decisions would be binding on the parties to the
dispute. The cost of the independent review would be apportioned based on the merits of
the case by the panel or the independent trade expert.