DS: Panama — Tariff Classification of Certain Milk 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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Summary of the dispute to date

The summary below was up-to-date at


Complaint by Mexico.

On 16 March 2005, Mexico has requested consultations with Panama regarding its Cabinet Decree N. 20 of 17 July 2002 which creates two new tariff subheadings in Panama’s National Importation Nomenclature. According to Mexico, this Decree eliminates the existing tariff subheading No. 1901.10.10 for processed milk to which a 5% bound tariff applied pursuant to Panama’s WTO Bindings. The Decree further created two new subheadings: No.1901.10.11 (baby formula) with a 0% tariff, and No. 1901.10.19 (all others) with a 65% tariff.

Mexico considers that Panama’s new tariff classification for those milk products may violate Articles I, II and XXVIII of GATT 1994 and Article 4 of the Agreement on Agriculture.

In addition, Mexico raises a non-violation claim: Mexico claims that the application of the new tariff classification by Panama nullifies or impede, in the sense of Article XXIII.1(b) of the GATT 1994, the tariff concessions that Panama granted to Mexico for processed milk (5 % consolidated tariff) as a result of its accession to the WTO.


Mutually agreed solution

On 20 September 2005, the parties to the dispute jointly informed the DSB that they had reached a mutually agreed solution regarding the matters raised by Mexico in its request for consultations.


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