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 Panama.
On 20 July 2006, Panama requested consultations with Colombia with respect to certain Colombian customs measures on the importation of certain goods from Panama. First, Panama considers that Colombia, through its Customs Code and 11 specific resolutions, has established and applies indicative unit prices or estimated prices exclusively for the customs valuation of certain goods that originate in, and/or are imported from, Panama and specified other countries or customs territories. Panama considers that this indicative or estimated price mechanism leads to reference prices, and Colombian importers of the affected goods are required to determine and pay customs duties and other duties or charges and taxes on the basis of such reference prices; otherwise, if the reference prices are not followed, in effect the goods cannot be imported into Colombia. Panama claims that the mechanism is not based on the valuation methods set out in the Customs Valuation Agreement, and that the mechanism appears to be inconsistent with Colombia's obligations under:
- Articles 1 to 7, 13 and the General Notes in Annex I of the Customs Valuation Agreement;
- Articles I:1, II:1(a) and (b), X:1, X:3(a), XI:1 and XIII:1 of the GATT 1994.
Second, Panama considers that, through three specific resolutions, Colombia has established a requirement that all goods falling under Chapters 50 to 64 of Colombia's Customs Tariff (textile and footwear products) that originate in, and/or are imported from, Panama or China shall enter into Colombia only through specified ports of entry. This restriction on the ports of entry applies only to relevant goods coming from Panama or China and not to goods imported directly from third countries or customs territories. Panama claims that the restriction on the ports of entry appears to be inconsistent with Colombia's obligations under Articles I:1, V:6, XI:1 and XIII:1 of the GATT 1994.
Third, Panama considers that, through a specific resolution, Colombia has established a requirement that commercial invoices of goods coming from the Free Zone of Colon shall include, in addition to the regular requirements, the name of the buyer in Colombia, his address and his Tax Identification Number (“NIT”). This requirement applies only to goods coming from the Free Zone of Colon and not to goods originating in third countries or customs territories. Panama claims that this requirement appears to be inconsistent with Colombia's obligations under Articles I:1, V:6, XI:1 and XIII:1 of the GATT 1994.
Panama claims that the measures at issue, as well as any related acts, amendments or extensions, and any related practices appear to nullify or impair the benefits accruing to Panama under the cited agreements.
On 3 August 2006, Guatemala and the Philippines requested to join the consultations. On 4 August 2006, China; Hong Kong, China; Pakistan; Chinese Taipei and Thailand requested to join the consultations. Subsequently, Colombia informed the DSB that it had accepted the requests of China; Guatemala; Hong Kong, China; Pakistan; the Philippines; Chinese Taipei; and Thailand to join the consultations.
Mutually agreed solution
On 1 December 2006, Panama informed the DSB that, pursuant to Article 3.6 of the DSU, Panama and Colombia had reached a mutually agreed solution to the issues raised by Panama in its request for consultations.
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