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.



Türkiye noted that the arbitrators issued their award on 25 July and on the same day, in accordance with Article 25.3 of the WTO's Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU), the arbitrator's award was notified to the DSB and the relevant WTO Councils and committees. However, pursuant to the agreed procedures between Türkiye and the EU, the arbitrator's award is not to be adopted by the DSB.

In line with its obligation under Article 21.3 of the DSU, and reiterating what it said in a communication circulated to WTO members on 22 August, Türkiye stated its intention to implement the recommendations and rulings of the arbitrators and the panel in the dispute in a manner that respects its WTO obligations, and noted that it has begun to evaluate options for doing so.  Türkiye said it needs a reasonable period of time to ensure implementation and was ready to discuss this with the EU at the earliest available opportunity.

The European Union said it welcomed the results of the appellate review because it upheld the panel's ruling which found that Türkiye's measure is discriminatory because it requires foreign producers of pharmaceuticals to move their production to Turkey for those pharmaceuticals to be eligible for reimbursement under the Turkish social security scheme.

The EU said it was particularly pleased with the appellate review proceedings, which demonstrated that there is a functional and efficient alternative to preserve the right of appeal for the parties, which is very similar to the Multi-Party Interim Appeal Arbitration Arrangement (MPIA). The EU said it expects that Türkiye will take the necessary steps to implement the arbitrators' findings promptly and stands ready to discuss and agree on a reasonable period of time for implementation.

The United States said it welcomed the agreement of the parties on a way forward in this dispute, which led to Türkiye’s announcement with respect to implementation of the arbitrator award.   The aim of dispute settlement is to facilitate the prompt settlement of a dispute between members, the US said, and it does not object to members utilizing Article 25 of the DSU or other procedures to help resolve disputes.

The US said it also want to draw attention to another issue of systemic importance — in accordance with the parties’ agreed procedures, and consistent with Article 25.3 of the DSU, the arbitration award has not been adopted by the DSB, it noted. Accordingly, the arbitration award does not contain “adopted recommendations or rulings” within the meaning of the DSU. 

Under a separate item, Japan said it welcomed members' use of the Article 25-based arbitration as a means of dispute settlement under the current situation. The arbitration has played a provisional complementary role to review the appealed findings of the panel report during the time of the Appellate Body dysfunction, Japan said. Moreover, the arbitration award was issued within the prescribed 90-day period, contributing to the prompt resolution of the dispute.

Appellate Body appointments

Mexico, speaking on behalf of 126 members, introduced for the 57th time the group's proposal to start the selection processes for filling vacancies on the Appellate Body. The extensive number of members submitting the proposal reflects a common concern over the current situation in the Appellate Body which is seriously affecting the overall WTO dispute settlement system against the best interest of members, Mexico said for the group. Mexico noted that Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and Saint Lucia have become the latest co-sponsors of the proposal.

More than 20 delegations took the floor in support of the proposal, some speaking on behalf of groups of members.  They reiterated  the importance of the WTO's two-tiered dispute settlement system to the stability and predictability of the multilateral trading system.  Several noted the commitment made by ministers at the WTO's 12th Ministerial Conference to engage in discussions aimed at securing a fully functioning dispute settlement system by 2024 and pledged their support for securing an outcome within the prescribed time period.

The United States reiterated that it does not support the proposed decision to commence the appointment of Appellate Body members. The US supports dispute settlement reform and is working to achieve durable, lasting reform; a true reform discussion should aim to ensure that WTO dispute settlement reflects the real interests of members, and not prejudge what a reformed system would look like.  The US said it is prepared for continued and deepened engagement with members on this important issue.

For the 126 members, Mexico again came back to say the fact a member may have concerns about certain aspects of the functioning of the Appellate Body cannot serve as pretext to impair and disrupt the work of the DSB and dispute settlement in general, and that there was no legal justification for the current blocking of the selection processes, which is causing concrete nullification and impairment of rights for many members.

The chair of the DSB, Ambassador Athaliah Lesiba Molokomme of Botswana, recalled the commitment by WTO members at MC12 to conduct discussions with the view to having a fully functioning dispute settlement system accessible to all members by 2024.  She said it was her understanding that informal discussions in this regard are currently ongoing and expressed hope that, going forward, members will be able to find a solution to this matter.

Under this item, eleven members took the floor to condemn Russia's invasion of Ukraine and expressed their support for, and solidarity with, Ukraine and its people. The Russian delegate responded by saying that none of the political issues raised by the eleven members were within the competence of the DSB and that the WTO was not a political organization.

Surveillance of implementation

The United States presented status reports with regard to DS184, “US — Anti-Dumping Measures on Certain Hot-Rolled Steel Products from Japan”,  DS160, “United States — Section 110(5) of US Copyright Act”, DS464, “United States — Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Measures on Large Residential Washers from Korea”, and DS471, “United States — Certain Methodologies and their Application to Anti-Dumping Proceedings Involving China.” The European Union presented a status report with regard to DS291, “EC — Measures Affecting the Approval and Marketing of Biotech Products.” Indonesia presented its status reports in DS477 and DS478, “Indonesia — Importation of Horticultural Products, Animals and Animal Products.” 

Next meeting

The next DSB meeting will take place on 23 September.



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