DS: China — Measures Concerning the Importation of Canola Seed from Canada

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 Canada

On 9 September 2019, Canada requested consultations with China regarding the following two sets of measures allegedly affecting the importation of canola seed (intended for processing and consumption, not for planting) from Canada: (a) measures suspending the importation of canola seed from two Canadian companies; and (b) measures applying enhanced inspections on all imports of Canadian canola seed.

Canada claimed that the measures appear to be inconsistent with:

  • Articles 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 3.3, 5.1, 5.2, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 5.7, 7, 8, paragraphs 1, 2, 5 and 6 of Annex B, and paragraphs 1(a), 1(b), 1(c), 1(e) and 1(g) of Annex C of the SPS Agreement;
  • Articles I:1, III:4, X:3(a), XI:1 of the GATT 1994; and
  • Articles 1.1, 5.1, 7.4.2 and 7.4.4 of the Trade Facilitation Agreement.

Canada also claimed that the measures appear to nullify or impair the benefits accruing to Canada in the sense of Article XXIII:1(b) of the GATT 1994.

On 19 September 2019, the Russian Federation and Chinese Taipei requested to join the consultations.


Panel and Appellate Body proceedings

On 17 June 2021, Canada requested the establishment of a panel. At its meeting on 28 June 2021, the DSB deferred the establishment of a panel.

At its meeting on 26 July 2021, the DSB established a panel. Australia, Brazil, the European Union, India, Japan, Norway, the Russian Federation, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, and the United States reserved their third-party rights.

On 24 September 2021, China and Canada informed the DSB that they had agreed to Procedures for Arbitration under Article 25 of the DSU in this dispute. Such procedures were entered into by China and Canada to give effect to the communication JOB/DSB/1/Add.12 (“Multi-Party Interim Appeal Arbitration Arrangement Pursuant To Article 25 Of The DSU (MPIA)”) and with the objective of setting a framework for an Arbitrator to decide on any appeal of any final panel report issued in this dispute, if the Appellate Body is not able to hear such an appeal under Articles 16.4 and 17 of the DSU.

Following the agreement of the parties, the panel was composed on 10 November 2021.

On 13 June 2022, the Chair of the panel informed the DSB that in accordance with the timetable adopted thus far following consultations with the parties, the panel did not expect to issue its final report to the parties prior to the end of 2022. In its communication, the Chair of the panel 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.

On 30 August 2022, the Chair of the panel informed the DSB that the panel had granted Canada's request dated 25 August 2022, which China welcomed, that the panel suspend its work pursuant to Article  12.12 of the DSU. The Chair indicated that the suspension of the proceedings was effective from 30 August 2022. The Chair further noted that, pursuant to Article 12.12, if the work of the panel had been suspended for more than 12 months, the authority for establishment of the panel shall lapse.



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