DISPUTE SETTLEMENT

DS: European Communities — Generalized System of Preferences

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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Current status

 

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Key facts

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Complainant:
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Third Parties:
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(as cited in request for consultations)
Request for Consultations received:

 

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Latest document

  

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Summary of the dispute to date

The summary below was up-to-date at

Consultations

Complaint by Thailand.

On 7 December 2001, Thailand requested consultations with the EC under Article XXIII of GATT 1994 in respect of measures under the EC’s Generalized System of Preferences (“GSP”) scheme. The GSP scheme was at the time implemented through Council Regulation (EC) No. 2820/98 of 21 December 1998 applying a multiannual scheme of generalized tariff preferences for the period of 1 July 1999 to 31 December 2001, and was expected to continue to be implemented through the Amended Proposal for a Council Regulation applying a scheme of generalized tariff preferences for the period 1 January 2002 to 31 December 2004 dated 14 November 2001.

Thailand considered that certain measures under the EC’s GSP adversely affect imports into the EC of goods originating in Thailand. In particular, Thailand claimed that, through its GSP scheme as implemented, the EC failed to carry out its obligations under Article I of GATT 1994 and the Enabling Clause, as incorporated into GATT 1994.

According to Thailand, the benefits accruing to it directly or indirectly under the WTO Agreement are being nullified or impaired as a result of this alleged failure by the EC to carry out its obligations under the WTO Agreement. Thailand also made a non-violation claim to the effect that the application by the EC of the above-mentioned measures nullifies or impairs the benefits accruing to Thailand directly or indirectly under the WTO Agreement pursuant to Article XXIII:1(b) of GATT 1994.

Costa Rica (on 17 December 2001), Guatemala (on 19 December 2001), Honduras and Nicaragua (on 20 December 2001), and Colombia (on 24 December 2001) requested to be joined in the consultations as third parties but not admitted because these are consultations under Article XXIII. Colombia raised the matter under “other business” in the DSB of 18 January 2002. It admitted that it was not de jure entitled to be joined in consultations under Article XXIII, but stated that this raised the issue of “co-defendants” under the DSU again.

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