In its request, Brazil identifies three measures adopted by China in relation to imports of sugar:
- an additional ad valorem duty of between 45% and 35% imposed as a safeguard measure on imports of sugar outside the existing tariff-rate quota (TRQ);
- China's administration of its TRQ with respect to imports of sugar; and
- the Automatic Import Licensing System for sugar outside the TRQ, which, according to Brazil, allows granting a license to import sugar only if the request does not exceed the maximum amount pre-set by China's Ministry of Commerce.
Brazil claims the measures are inconsistent with various provisions under the WTO's General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1994, the Safeguards Agreement, the Agreement on Import Licensing Procedures and China's Accession Protocol.
Further information is available in document WT/DS568/1
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.