DISPUTE SETTLEMENT

DS: India — Certain Taxes and Other Measures on Imported Wines and Spirits

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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Current status

 

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Key facts

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(as cited in request for consultations)
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Latest document

  

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Summary of the dispute to date

The summary below was up-to-date at

Consultations

Complaint by the European Communities. 

On 22 September 2008, the European Communities requested consultations with India regarding discriminatory taxation applied on imported bottled wines and spirits by the Indian states of Maharashtra and Goa as well as restrictions on retail sale applied by the Indian State of Tamil Nadu. The European Communities considers that these measures adversely affect exports of wines and spirits from the European Communities to India.

The European Communities claims that that various measures applied by the State of Maharashtra to wines and spirits are inconsistent with Article III:2 and III:4 of the GATT 1994 as well with Article 3.1(b) and 3.2 of the SCM Agreement. The European Communities consider that these measures also nullify or impair the benefits accruing to the European Communities under the GATT 1994.

The European Communities also claims that certain measures applied by the State of Goa to wines and spirits appear to be inconsistent with Article III:2 of the GATT 1994 and nullify or impair the benefits accruing to the European Communities under the GATT 1994.

The European Communities further claims that various aspects of Tamil Nadu's legislation the importation into, transportation within and sale within the State of Tamil Nadu of wines and spirits are inconsistent with India's obligations under Article III:4 of the GATT 1994 and nullify or impair the benefits accruing to the European Communities under the GATT 1994.

On 2 October 2008, Australia requested to join the consultations.  On 3 October 2008, the United States requested to join the consultations.

On 15 December 2008, the European Communities requested supplementary consultations with India regarding discriminatory taxation applied on imported bottled wines by the Indian state of Karnataka. The European Communities considers that these measures adversely affect exports of wines and spirits (codes 22.04, 22.05, 22.06 and 22.08 of the Harmonised System) from the European Communities to India.

The European Communities understands that the State of Karnataka appears to apply the “additional special fee” and the “special fee” in a way that subjects imported wines to internal taxes in excess of domestic like products. The European Communities considers that various measures are inconsistent with Article III, paragraph 2 of the GATT 1994. The European Communities considers that these measures also nullify or impair the benefits accruing to the European Communities under the GATT 1994.

For each of the measures referred to in its request, the European Communities indicates that the request for consultations also covers any amendments, replacements, extensions, implementing measures and the related measures. The European Communities reserves the right to address additional measures and claims under other provisions of the WTO Agreement regarding the above matters during the course of the consultations.

On 23 December 2008, the United States requested to join the supplementary consultations.

On 4 May 2009, the European Communities requested once again supplementary consultations regarding discriminatory taxation applied on imported bottled wines and spirits by the Indian State of Andhra Pradesh.  These measures adversely affect exports of wines and spirits (codes 22.04, 22.05, 22.06 and 22.08 of the Harmonised System) from the European Communities to India. 

On 15 May 2009, the United States requested to join the supplementary consultations.

On 16 November 2009, the European Communities requested once again supplementary consultations regarding discriminatory taxation applied on imported bottled wines and spirits by the National Capital territory of Delhi as well as the discriminatory practices of the State-owned Andhra Pradesh Beverages Corporation and of the Tamil Nadu State Market Corporation Limited, in supplying and distributing wines and spirits.  These measures adversely affect exports of wines and spirits (codes 22.04, 22.05, 22.06 and 22.08 of the Harmonised System) from the European Communities to India.

On 30 November 2009, the United States requested to join the supplementary consultations.

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