DS: European Communities — Measures Affecting Butter Products

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 New Zealand.

This request, dated 24 March 1997, is in respect of decisions by the EC and the United Kingdom’s Customs and Excise Department, to the effect that New Zealand butter manufactured by the ANMIX butter-making process and the spreadable butter-making process be classified so as to be excluded from eligibility for New Zealand’s country-specific tariff quota established by the European Communities’ WTO Schedule. New Zealand alleges violations of Articles II, X and XI of GATT, Article 2 of the TBT Agreement, and Article 3 of the Agreement on Import Licensing Procedures.


Panel and Appellate Body proceedings

On 6 November 1997, New Zealand requested the establishment of a panel. The DSB established a panel on 18 November 1997. The US reserved its third-party rights. On 19 February 1998, the Chair of the panel informed the DSB that the panel had agreed to New Zealand's request that the panel suspend its work pursuant to Article 12.12 of the DSU, due to a recent decision by a Tribunal in the United Kingdom, which in New Zealand's view, formed a good basis for the settlement of the matter. On 25 February 1999, the Chair of the panel informed the DSB that, further to New Zealand's request, the panel had agreed to suspend the panel proceedings for a second time until 25 March 1999. After informing the DSB of several requests from New Zealand to further extend the suspension of the panel proceedings, on 7 October 1999, the panel informed the DSB that it had accepted New Zealand's request to suspend its proceedings until 24 November 1999.


Mutually agreed solution

In a communication dated 11 November 1999, the parties notified a mutually agreed solution to this dispute.


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