WTO: 2014 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.

DS475: Russian Federation — Measures on the importation of live pigs, pork and other pig products from the European Union

The European Union said that Russia had maintained an EU-wide restriction against imports of live pigs, pork and other pig products since January 2014. The restrictions were based on four cases of African swine fever (ASF) detected in Lithuania and Poland. In the EU's view, there was no scientific reason to ban imports from the entire EU.

The EU also noted that Russia had itself suffered numerous outbreaks of ASF but it did not apply similar measures in its own territory, thereby discriminating between EU products and its own domestic products. Furthermore, the EU noted that Russia also treated EU products less favourably than those products imported from certain neighbouring countries that had also reported cases of ASF.

The EU believed that Russia was in breach of its obligations under the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) Agreement and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1994. Consultations were held with Russia but they did not resolve the matter, hence the EU's request for the establishment of a panel.

Russia said that it was confident of the scientific justification for the measures which were in conformity with the relevant international standards and requirements. Furthermore, the measures were not discriminatory and were not applied on products from the entire EU, only Poland and Lithuania. Russia regretted the EU's request for the establishment of a panel and believed that the matter should be resolved through consultations. Russia, therefore, was not in a position to agree to the establishment of a panel.

The DSB deferred the establishment of a panel to examine this dispute.

DS400/DS401: European Union — Measures prohibiting the importation and marketing of seal products

The European Union informed the DSB that it intended to implement the DSB's recommendations and rulings in these disputes in a manner that respected its WTO obligations. The EU said that it was consulting internally on the options for doing so and added that it would need a reasonable period of time to implement the DSB's recommendations and rulings. Canada and Norway welcomed the EU's intention to comply with the DSB's recommendations and rulings and stood ready to discuss the reasonable period.

Appellate Body selection process

Under “Other business”, the Chair made a statement concerning the Appellate Body selection process. The Chair said that the Selection Committee will hold interviews with the eight candidates for the Appellate Body vacancy on 22 and 23 July. Thereafter, on 9 and 10 September, the Selection Committee would meet, upon request, with interested delegations who wished to express their views on the candidates. Those wishing to send written comments should write to the DSB Chair by no later than 10 September. Following the interviews and consultations, the Selection Committee would make a recommendation not later than 15 September so that it may be considered by the DSB at its meeting on 26 September.

Next meeting

The regular DSB meeting will be held on 22 July 2014.

 

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