DS: European Communities — Definitive Safeguard Measure on Salmon

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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(as cited in request for consultations)
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Summary of the dispute to date

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Complaint by Chile.

On 8 February 2005, Chile requested consultations with the European Communities regarding the latter’s definitive safeguard measure against imports of farmed salmon imposed through Commission Regulation (EC) No. 206/2005, published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 5 February 2005. The measure will be in force from 6 February 2005 to 13 August 2008. The measure consists of:

  • A system of tariff quotas calculated on the basis of past imports of salmon into the Communities. Imports of farmed salmon beyond the level of the tariff quota shall be subject to an additional duty according to the group to which they belong;
  • A minimum price applicable to imports both within and beyond the tariff quota; and,
  • A security which must be provided by importers as a guarantee of the payment of the actual import price.

On 10 January 2005, the European Communities notified the WTO of its findings of serious injury and of its proposed safeguard measure, concerning farmed salmon (Docs. G/SG/N/8/EEC/3, G/SG/N/10/EEC/3 and G/SG/N/11/EEC/3/Suppl.1).

According to the information provided in the request for consultations, Chile requested prior consultations with the European Communities (EC) pursuant to Article 12.3 of the Agreement on Safeguards. The prior consultations took place in Brussels on 20 January 2005.

Chile states in its request for consultations that the definitive safeguard measure against imports of farmed salmon is inconsistent with the EC’s obligations under the WTO agreements and seriously affects Chilean exports of salmon to the EC, because in its opinion:

  • The product subject to the measures and its like or directly competitive products were not properly defined, since “chilled farmed salmon” is a different product from the “fresh salmon” produced by the European industry.
  • There were no “unforeseen developments” as a result of which there was an increase in imports, as required by Article XIX of GATT 1994.
  • There has not been an increase in imports recent enough, sudden enough, sharp enough, nor significant enough, so as to cause or threaten to cause serious injury to the domestic industry as required by Article XIX of GATT 1994 and by Article 2.1 of the Agreement on Safeguards. Neither has there been an increase in imports relative to domestic production.
  • There is no serious injury nor threat of injury to the domestic industry and the determination of injury made by the investigating authority was based on allegations from the domestic industry, and on conjectures and remote possibilities, all of which is inconsistent with Article 4.2(a) of the Agreement on Safeguards.
  • Since there is no injury nor threat of injury attributable to an increase in imports, the safeguard measure would be incompatible with Article 4.2(b) of the Agreement on Safeguards.
  • Finally, the safeguard measure imposed on imports of salmon goes beyond the extent necessary to prevent or remedy the serious injury and to facilitate adjustment, as required by Article 5 of the Agreement on Safeguards.

On 18 February 2005, Norway requested to join the consultations. On 15 March 2005, the European Communities accepted the request of Norway to join the consultations.



On 12 May 2005, Chile formally withdrew its request for consultations and to put an end to this matter, as the safeguard measure at issue was terminated as of 27 April 2005.



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