DS: European Communities — Customs Classification of Certain Computer Equipment

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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Complaints by the United States.

These are in respect of the alleged reclassification by the European Communities, for tariff purposes, of certain Local Area Network (LAN) adapter equipment and personal computers with multimedia capability. The US alleged that these measures violate Article II of GATT 1994.


Panel and Appellate Body proceedings

At its meeting on 25 February 1997, the DSB established a panel in respect of the complaint WT/DS62. India, Japan, Korea and Singapore reserved their third-party rights. At its meeting on 20 March 1997, at the request of the parties to the dispute, the DSB agreed to modify the terms of reference of the panel that had been established in WT/DS62, so as to incorporate into its mandate the matters raised by the United States in its panel requests in respect of WT/DS67 and WT/DS68. The DSB also agreed not to establish separate panels to examine the complaints in WT/DS67 and WT/DS68.

The report of the Panel was circulated to Members on 5 February 1998. The Panel found that the EC failed to accord imports of LAN equipment from the US treatment no less favourable than that provided for in the EC Schedule of commitments, thereby acting inconsistently with Article II:1 of GATT 1994.

On 24 March 1998, the EC notified its intention to appeal certain issues of law and legal interpretations developed by the Panel. The report of the Appellate Body was circulated to Members on 5 June 1998. The Appellate Body reversed the Panel’s conclusion that the EC tariff treatment of LAN equipment is inconsistent with Article II:1 of GATT 1994.

At its meeting on 22 June 1998, the DSB adopted the Appellate Body report and the Panel report, as modified by the Appellate Body report.


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