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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Complaint by Norway.

On 1 March 2005, Norway 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 consists of:

  • A system of tariff quotas beyond which an additional duty will be applied to imports of the products in question;
  • A minimum price applied to all imports both within and beyond the tariff quota; and,
  • A security to be provided on importation payable by all importers. 

Norway states in its request for consultations that the definitive safeguard measure concerned is inconsistent with the EC’s obligations under the WTO, because inter alia:

  • There were no “unforeseen developments” that resulted in an increase in imports as required by 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 GATT 1994 and the Agreement on Safeguards;
  • The competent authorities’ determination of the scope of the domestic industry is not consistent with the Safeguards Agreement;
  • In determining on serious injury, the competent authorities failed adequately to evaluate all relevant factors of an objective and quantifiable nature having a bearing on the situation of the domestic industry, as required by Safeguards Agreement. Furthermore, there was no “significant overall impairment” in the position of the domestic industry that justified the determination of serious injury as required by the Safeguards Agreement;
  • The determination fails to establish the necessary causal link between the increased imports and the finding of serious injury, as required by the Safeguards Agreement. The determination also fails to adequately distinguish between the injurious effects of the increase in imports and those of other factors causing injury to the domestic industry, and fails to ensure that injury caused by other factors has not been attributed to increased imports;
  • The competent authorities’ determination in February 2005 was not based on sufficiently recent data and thus is inconsistent with GATT 1994 and the Safeguards Agreement, given that the period of investigation was terminated in December 2003;
  • The competent authorities did not set forth adequately the findings and reasoned conclusions on all pertinent issues of fact and law, and did not provide a detailed analysis of the case, as required by the Agreement;
  • The competent authorities have failed to comply with the obligations under the Safeguards Agreement to provide all interested parties with an adequate opportunity to present their views and to respond to the presentations of other parties;
  • The definitive safeguard measure imposed is inconsistent with the Safeguards Agreement because it exceeds the extent necessary to prevent or remedy serious injury caused by increased imports and to facilitate adjustment;
  • The EC Regulation is inconsistent with the Safeguards Agreement in so far as it imposes a minimum price control mechanism which monitors import prices.
  • The EC Regulation is inconsistent with the Safeguard Agreement because it does not include any basis for a progressive liberalization of the minimum price and the security to be provided on importation.

In light of the above considerations, Norway considers the definitive safeguard measure concerned to be inconsistent with various WTO provisions including Articles 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 and 11 of the Safeguards Agreement and Article XIX:1 of GATT 1994.

On 8 March 2005, Chile requested to join the consultations. On 17 March 2005, the European Communities accepted the request of Chile to join the consultations.


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