DS: Mexico — Measures Affecting the Import of Matches

This summary has been prepared by the Secretariat under its own responsibility. The summary is for general information only and is not intended to affect the rights and obligations of Members.


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Complaint by Chile.

On 17 May 2001, Chile requested consultations with Mexico in respect of a series of Mexican laws and regulations which are alleged to constitute unnecessary barriers to the import of Chilean matches. According to Chile, pursuant to these laws and regulations, matches have been classified in Mexico as an explosive and hazardous product, due to a confusion between the chemical element “fósforo” (phosphor) and “fosfóros (o cerillos) de seguridad” (matches). As a result, Chilean matches have been subject to control by the National Defense Ministry and, consequently, to a series of requirements regarding packaging, entry, liquidation, transportation and storage applicable to explosives and other hazardous substances, with the aim of providing protection to the Mexican industry. According to Chile, these measures are inconsistent with, inter alia, the following provisions: Articles 1, 2 and 5 of the TBT Agreement; Articles 1, 3 and 5 of the Agreement on Import Licensing Procedures; and Article III:4 of the GATT 1994.



On 2 February 2004, Chile informed the DSB that it wished formally to withdraw the request for consultations and bring this matter to a close as its complaints had been adequately met as a result of negotiations with Mexico.


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