DS: Turkey — Restrictions on Imports of Textile and Clothing 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 India.

On 21 March 1996, India requested consultations with Turkey concerning Turkey’s imposition of quantitative restrictions on imports of a broad range of textile and clothing products. India claimed that those measures are inconsistent with Articles XI and XIII of GATT 1994, as well as ATC Article 2. Earlier, India had requested to be joined in the consultations between Hong Kong and Turkey on the same subject matter (WT/DS29).

On 2 February 1998, India requested the establishment of a panel. At its meeting on 13 February 1998, the DSB deferred the establishment of a panel.


Panel and Appellate Body proceedings

Further to a second request to establish a panel by India, the DSB established a panel at its meeting on 13 March 1998. Japan, the Philippines, Thailand, the US and Hong Kong, China reserved their third-party rights. On 11 June 1998, the Panel was composed. The report of the Panel was circulated to Members on 31 May 1999. The Panel found that Turkey’s measures are inconsistent with Articles XI and XIII of GATT 1994, and consequently inconsistent also with Article 2.4 of the ATC. The Panel also rejected Turkey’s assertion that its measures are justified by Article XXIV of GATT 1994.

On 26 July 1999, Turkey notified its intention to appeal certain issues of law and legal interpretations developed by the Panel. The report of the Appellate Body was circulated on 21 October 1999. The Appellate Body upheld the Panel’s conclusion that Article XXIV of GATT 1994 does not allow Turkey to adopt, upon the formation of a customs union with the EC, quantitative restrictions which were found to be inconsistent with Articles XI and XIII of GATT 1994 and Article 2.4 of the ATC. However, the Appellate Body concluded that the Panel erred in its legal reasoning in interpreting Article XXIV of GATT 1994.

At its meeting on 19 November 1999, the DSB adopted the Appellate Body report and the Panel report, as modified by the Appellate Body report.


Implementation of adopted reports

At the DSB meeting of 19 November 1999, Turkey stated its intention to comply with the recommendations and rulings of the DSB. On 7 January 2000, the parties informed the DSB that they had agreed that the reasonable period of time for Turkey to implement the DSB’s recommendations and rulings would expire on 19 February 2001. Pursuant to the agreement reached, Turkey also was to refrain from making more restrictive restrictions affecting imports of specified textile and clothing products from India, to increase the size of the quotas of India on certain specified textile and clothing products and to treat India no less favourably than any other Member with respect to the elimination of or modification of quantitative restrictions affecting any product covered by the agreement.

On 6 July 2001, the parties to the dispute notified the DSB that they have reached a mutually acceptable solution regarding implementation by Turkey of the conclusions and recommendations adopted by the DSB on the matter. Pursuant to the Agreement, Turkey agreed to:

  • remove the quantitative restrictions it applies on textile categories 24 and 27 in respect of imports from India, by 30 June 2001 or the date of signature of the Agreement;
  • carry out tariff reductions on the applied rate basis as described in annex to the Agreement, by 30 September 2001;
  • strive towards early compliance with the recommendations and rulings of the DSB.

Pursuant to the Agreement, the compensation would remain effective until Turkey removes all quantitative restrictions applied as of 1 January 1996 in respect of imports from India for the 19 categories of textile and clothing products.

At the meeting of the DSB on 18 December 2001, India made a statement concerning the lack of notification by Turkey of tariff reductions carried out as part of the implementation process.


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