DS: Ukraine — Taxes on Distilled 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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Summary of the dispute to date

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Complaint by Moldova.

On 3 March 2011, Moldova requested consultations with Ukraine alleging that the latter's Excise Tax System discriminates against imported Moldovan distilled spirits (code 22.08 of the Harmonised System).

Moldova specifically claims that the 2008 amendments made to Law No. 178 of 1996 infringe Article III:2, first sentence, of the GATT 1994 by applying a tax rate to domestic products that is lower than that applied on certain like imported distilled spirits from Moldova.  Moldova further claims that because such amendments also impose a lower tax rate on domestic products than on certain other directly competitive or substitutable distilled spirits imported from Moldova, so as to afford protection to the domestic production, it thus violates Article III:2, second sentence, of the GATT 1994.

On 14 March 2011, the European Union requested to join the consultations. Subsequently, Ukraine informed the DSB that it had accepted the request of the European Union to join the consultations.

On 1 June 2011, Moldova requested the establishment of a panel.  At its meeting on 17 June 2011, the DSB deferred the establishment of a panel.


Panel and Appellate Body proceedings

At its meeting on 20 July 2011, the DSB established a panel.  China, Colombia, the European Union and the United States reserved their third-party rights.  Subsequently, Chinese Taipei reserved its third-party rights.



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