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.
DS502: Colombia — Measures Concerning Imported Spirits
The EU requested the DSB to establish a panel to examine Colombia's reportedly discriminatory treatment of imported spirits. Consultations held in March 2016 had not resolved the matter. The EU said it recognised Colombia's efforts to reform its spirits regime; however, EU spirits continued to be treated in a discriminatory manner. The EU said it was left with no choice but to request establishment of a panel.
Colombia said that its Congress was working on the adoption of new legislation and noted that a bill was submitted on 4 November 2015 to its Congress concerning the reform of the spirits regime. Colombia said it expected that the fourth reading of the bill will take place shortly. It said the EU request for a panel was premature and that Colombia was not in a position to agree to the establishment of a panel. Under WTO rules, a request for the creation of a panel can be blocked in the first instance.
The DSB therefore deferred the establishment of a panel.
Sequence of procedures discussed
DS430: India — Measures Concerning the Importation of Certain Agricultural Products
The US recalled discussions on this dispute in earlier DSB meetings and noted that arbitration is currently in progress for its request for DSB's authorization to suspend concessions or other obligations with respect to India totalling approximately $450 million in 2016. The US said it was of the view that India's revised measure appeared to retain many of the features of the prior measure found to be inconsistent with India's WTO obligations. The US said it was therefore concerned that India's revised measure does not address the DSB's findings and recommendations. The US also said that it remained open to working with India on a mutually agreed solution to this dispute.
India responded by saying it had complied with the DSB's recommendations and rulings in this dispute and has been in bilateral consultations with the US. India is of the view that if there were disagreement on its compliance, the first course of action should be recourse to a compliance panel proceeding. India renewed its call to the US to enter into an agreement on the sequence of the compliance panel proceedings and the arbitration.
The European Union urged both parties to ensure that procedures regarding compliance and arbitration can be conducted efficiently and in the correct sequence. The US reiterated its view that there was nothing in the WTO rules that required parties to enter into sequencing agreements. Brazil expressed concern that the practice of having sequencing agreements, which seemed to previously work, now seemed to be uncertain.
Chair's statement on Appellate Body matters
The DSB Chair, Ambassador Xavier Carim (South Africa), reminded delegations that the deadline for nominations of candidates to fill the vacancy left by the non-reappointment of Mr Seung Wha Chang is 14 September 2016. He also reminded delegations that they must inform the Selection Committee should any of the candidates nominated to fill the vacancy created by the expiry of Ms Yuejiao Zhang's second term wish to participate in the new selection process. The Chair also reminded delegations that, starting on 26 September, he will convene the first dedicated session for a focused discussion by members on any issue that has been raised in respect of Appellate Body reappointments, including whether to modify the rules governing reappointments.
The DSB approved two additional names (WT/DSB/W/575) proposed for inclusion in the Indicative List of Governmental and Non-Governmental Panelists.
Three status reports were presented. Statements on implementation were made regarding four other matters.
DS454: China — Measures Imposing Anti-Dumping Duties on High-Performance Stainless Steel Seamless Tubes (“HP-SSST”) from Japan and DS460: China — Measures Imposing Anti-Dumping Duties on High-Performance Stainless Steel Seamless Tubes (“HP-SSST”) from the European Union
China informed the DSB that the anti-dumping duties at issue in these disputes were terminated as its Ministry of Commerce on 22 August 2016 had issued a determination of the re-investigation. China said that, through these efforts, it had fully implemented the DSB's recommendations and rulings in these disputes.
Japan welcomed China's statement that it had taken the necessary actions to implement the DSB's recommendations by the end of the "reasonable period of time" and that it had revoked the WTO-inconsistent measures. Japan said it is monitoring developments. Japan also said that it was of the view that China should have submitted a status report and made a statement under one of the regular items on the agenda of the meeting.
The EU agreed with Japan's statement.
The Chair provided information on the Appellate Body's workload, on the number of disputes in the panel queue and at the panel composition stage, and on the ability of the WTO Secretariat to meet expected demand over the coming period.
Next meetingThe next regular DSB meeting is scheduled for 26 September 2016.