DS: European Communities — Certain Measures Prohibiting the Importation and Marketing of Seal 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 Canada.

On 25 September 2007, Canada requested consultations with the European Communities concerning certain measures taken by Belgium and the Netherlands regarding the importation, transportation, manufacturing, marketing and sale of seal products.

Canada considered that the measures appear to be inconsistent with the European Communities' obligations under GATT 1994 and the TBT Agreement. In particular:

  • Articles 2.1 and 2.2 of the TBT Agreement; and
  • Articles I:1, III:4, V:2, V:3, V:4 and XI:1 of the GATT 1994.

On 11 February 2011, Canada requested the establishment of a panel.  At its meeting on 24 February 2011, the DSB deferred the establishment of a panel.


Panel and Appellate Body proceedings

At its meeting on 25 March 2011, the DSB established a panel.  China, Colombia, Japan, Mexico, Norway and the United States reserved their third party rights. Subsequently, Argentina and Ecuador reserved their third party rights.



On 1 December 2014, Canada informed the DSB that the measures at issue in this dispute have been repealed. Therefore, Canada terminated the panel composition process and formally withdrew its complaint on this matter.



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