DS: Peru — Tax Treatment on Certain Imported Products

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 22 April 2002, Chile requested consultations with Peru in respect of its tax treatment on imports of fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, milk, tea and other natural products. In particular, Chile explained that before the adoption of Law 27.614, published on 29 December 2001, both the sale in the Peruvian market and the importation into Peru of the products at issue had been exempt from sales tax. Further to the adoption of Law 27.614, the importation into Peru of the products at issue was no longer exempt from sales tax (18 per cent) while the sale of those products in the Peruvian market was still exempt from sales tax.

Chile considered that the different tax treatment between domestic and imported products constituted a violation by Peru of its national treatment commitments both:

  • at bilateral level: Article 19 of the Economic Complementarity Agreement (ECA 38) and,
  • at multilateral level (WTO): Article III of GATT 1994. In this regard, Chile claimed that Law 27.614 by providing that the exemption from sales tax only applied to the sale in Peru and not to the importation, was inconsistent with Article III of the GATT 1994.

Chile contended that the above measure prejudiced the competitiveness of Chile’s exports to Peru of the said products, in particular although not limited to, apples, table grapes and peaches.

On the grounds that the products affected by the measure at issue were natural goods and thus perishable, Chile was invoking the urgency consultation procedure under Article 4.8 of the DSU and already announced that it would make use of the expeditious Panel and Appellate Body procedures referred to in Article 4.9 of the DSU.

On 8 May 2002, the United States requested to join the consultations.

On 13 June 2002, Chile requested the establishment of a panel. At its meeting on 24 June 2002, the DSB deferred the establishment of a panel. On 26 July 2002, Chile requested that its second request for the establishment of a panel be removed from the agenda of the DSB meeting on 29 July 2002.



On 25 September 2002, Chile informed the DSB that it was withdrawing this complaint as Peru had repealed Article 2 of Law 27.614 and as a result the disputed measures had disappeared.


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