DS: European Communities — Regime for the Importation of Bananas

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.


See also:

back to top

Current status


back to top

Key facts


back to top

Latest document


back to top

Summary of the dispute to date

The summary below was up-to-date at


Complaint by Colombia.

On 21 March 2007, Colombia requested consultations with the European Communities concerning its regime for the importation of bananas that has applied since 1 January 2006. Under this regime, the tariff levied on bananas of MFN origin was set at €176/tonne while ACP bananas may be imported at zero duty up to an annual quantity of 775,000 tonnes (the “ACP TRQ”).

Colombia considers that the EC's new banana import regime is inconsistent with the GATT 1994 for the following reasons:

  • the MFN tariff rate of €176/tonne is inconsistent with Article II:1 because it exceeds the duties set forth in the EC's Schedule of Concessions;
  • only ACP bananas benefit from the application of a zero tariff, which is inconsistent with Article I:1. This inconsistency cannot be justified under the Article I “Doha Waiver” as that waiver ceased to apply to bananas as of 1 January 2006 because the EC no longer observes the terms and conditions of that waiver, in particular because the EC has failed to rebind its import tariff on bananas and at a level that results in at least maintaining total market access for MFN banana suppliers, taking into account all EC WTO market-access commitments;
  • the application of the ACP TRQ entails discrimination between ACP bananas and MFN bananas, which is inconsistent with various provisions of Article XIII. Moreover, this inconsistency cannot be justified under the Article XIII “Doha Wavier” since that waiver expired on 31 December 2005 and has not been extended.

Colombia has also requested the consultations be conducted within the timeframe set out in Article 4.8 of the DSU for cases of urgency for perishable products.


Mutually agreed solution

On 8 November 2012, the European Union and Colombia notified the DSB of a mutually agreed solution pursuant to Article 3.6 of the DSU.



Follow this dispute


Problems viewing this page? If so, please contact [email protected] giving details of the operating system and web browser you are using.