DS: India — Measures Concerning Sugar and Sugarcane

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 Australia (See also DS579 and DS581)

On 27 February 2019, Australia requested consultations with India concerning support allegedly provided by India in favour of producers of sugarcane and sugar (domestic support measures), as well as all export subsidies that India allegedly provides for sugar and sugarcane (export subsidy measures).

Australia claimed that the domestic support measures appear to be inconsistent with:

  • Articles 3.2, 6.3 and 7.2(b) of the Agreement on Agriculture; and
  • Article XVI of the GATT.

Australia claimed that the export subsidy measures appear to be inconsistent with:

  • Articles 3.3, 8, 9.1, 10.1, 18.2, 18.3 of the Agreement on Agriculture;
  • Articles 3 and 25 of the SCM Agreement; and
  • Article XVI of the GATT.

Australia submitted, together with its consultations request, a statement of available evidence pursuant to Article 4.2 of the SCM Agreement.

On 11 March 2019, Guatemala requested to join the consultations. On 12 March 2019, Brazil, Costa Rica and the European Union requested to join the consultations. On 14 March 2019, Thailand requested to join the consultations.


Panel and Appellate Body proceedings

On 11 July 2019, Australia requested the establishment of a Panel. At its meeting on 22 July 2019, the DSB deferred the establishment of a panel.

At its meeting on 15 August 2019, the DSB established a panel. Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, the European Union, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Japan, Panama, the Russian Federation, Thailand and the United States reserved their third-party rights.

On 16 October 2019, Australia requested the Director-General to compose the panel. On 28 October 2019, the Director-General composed the panel.

On 27 April 2020, the Chair of the panels in DS579, DS580 and DS581 informed the DSB that, due to the complex procedural and factual nature of the disputes and in light of the harmonized timetables adopted to that date, the panels estimated to issue their final reports to the parties not before the second quarter of 2021. The Chair apprised the DSB that the report would be available to the public once it was circulated to the Members in all three official languages, and that the date of circulation depends on completion of translation.



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