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WTO Dispute Settlement Bulletin

Monthly Bulletin: January-February 2007

Australia and WTO dispute settlement

In this issue


Australia as a Complainant

There are no current disputes at panel or appellate body
phase in which Australia is a complainant although in some
instances, there is disagreement whether implementation is
completed.

European Communities: Export Subsidies on Sugar
(WT/DS265/AB/R)

On 8 June 2006, Australia and the European Communities (EC)
notified the WTO Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) of an understanding
reached by the two parties on the dispute. Given the disagreement
between Australia and the EC as to whether the EC had fully
implemented the recommendations and rulings of the DSB within the
reasonable period of time, the agreement sets out the procedural
steps to be taken by the parties in the event that compliance
proceedings are instituted under Article 21.5 of the Dispute
Settlement Understanding (DSU). Brazil and Thailand, the other
parties to the dispute, also entered into similar agreements with
the European Communities.

The EC was required to implement the recommendations and rulings
of the DSB by 22 May 2006 – the reasonable period of time for
implementation as determined by an arbitrator under Article 21.3(c)
of the DSU. The Appellate Body and Panel Reports in this dispute
were adopted by the DSB in May 2005. The Appellate Body upheld
Australia's (and Brazil's and Thailand's) challenge to the
EC's sugar export subsidies, ruling that all EC sugar exports
were subsidised and that the EC was not entitled to exclude any of
those quantities nor any budgetary outlays on export subsidies from
its WTO-scheduled export subsidy commitments. As a result of the
dispute, EC is required to reduce its subsidised exports of sugar
to its WTO-scheduled limits of 1.273 million tonnes a year and its
annual expenditure on sugar export subsidies to 499.1 million
Euros.

See: Understanding between Australia and the European Communities
on European Communities – Export Subsidies on Sugar
(WT/DS265/36
) [ PDF ]

Australia as a Respondent

Australia: Certain Measures Affecting the Importation of
Fresh Fruit and Vegetables (WT/DS270)

No new developments. A panel was established in August
2003 at the request of the Philippines but has not yet been
composed.

Australia: Certain Measures Affecting the Importation of
Fresh Pineapple Fruit (WT/DS/271)

No new developments. Consultations were held in November
2002 at the request of the Philippines, but no panel has been
established.

Australia: Quarantine Regime for Imports (WT/DS287)

No new developments. A panel was established in November 2003 at
the request of the European Communities but has not yet been
composed.

Australia as a Third Party: Selected Disputes

Turkey: Measures Affecting the importation of rice
(WT/DS334)

No new developments. Australia made an oral statement to the
Panel at the third party hearing on 9 November 2006.

See: Oral Statement by Australia to the Panel [ PDF ]

European Communities: Measures Affecting the Approval
and Marketing of Biotech Products (WT/DS291, 292 and 293)

The final Panel report was publicly released on 29 September
2006 and was adopted at the DSB regular meeting on 21 November. At
the DSB meeting on 19 December 2006, the EC announced its intention
to implement the ruling in a manner consistent with its WTO
obligations. However, the EC indicated that it would need a
reasonable period of time for implementation as envisaged by
Article 21.3(b) of the DSU.

United States/Canada: Continued Suspension of Obligations in
the EC Hormones Dispute (WT/DS320 and WT/DS321)

No new developments. At the request of the parties in the
disputes, the Panels opened their proceedings with the parties and
scientific experts on 27-28 September and with the parties on 2-3
October for observation by WTO Members and the general public.

European Communities: Selected Customs Matters
(WT/DS315)

No new developments. The Appellate Body report was issued on 13
November and is available on the WTO
website
[ PDF ]

See: Oral statement by Australia to the Appellate Body [ PDF ]

United States: Subsidies on Upland Cotton (WT/DS267)

No new developments. On 28 September 2006, the Disputes
Settlement Body (DSB) granted Brazil's request for the
establishment of an Article 21.5 panel to determine the existence
or consistency of measures taken by the United States to comply
with the recommendations and rulings of the DSB in this
dispute. See: September Bulletin.

Australia lodged its third party written submission on 5
January. Oral hearings took place on 27-28
February.

See: Oral statements by Australia to the Panel and Appellate
Body

China : Measures Affecting Imports of Automobile Parts
(WT/DS339, DS340 and DS342)

No new developments. At the request of the EC, the US and
Canada, a single panel was established at the 26 October 2006
Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) meeting. Australia along with
Mexico, Japan, Chinese Taipei and Argentina joined as third
parties. See: October Bulletin.

European Communities and Certain Member States/United
States: Measures Affecting Trade in Large Civil Aircraft
(WT/DS316 and WT/DS317)

The panels examining EC (DS316) and US (DS317) measures are
continuing their work. The second proceedings that had arisen as
part of US (DS317) has now been renumbered and constitutes a
separate dispute, numbered WT/DS353 - see item below.

The Panel in DS316 has issued a revised timetable following
suspension of the second Panel (WT/DS347 - the work of this
panel remains suspended) - see item below.

Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Japan and Korea have reserved
their third party rights in both disputes.

European Communities and Certain Member States: Measures
Affecting Trade in Large Civil Aircraft (Second Complaint)
(WT/DS347)

No new developments. The second panel requested by the United
States to examine additional EC measures was established on 9 May
2006 (see May 2006 Bulletin). The Panel was composed on 17
July 2006 and an organizational timetable was agreed between the
parties. On 6 October 2006 the United States requested the
Panel to suspend its work, in accordance with Article 12.12 of the
WTO Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU). The Panel agreed to
this request

United States: Measures Affecting Trade in Large Civil
Aircraft (Second Complaint) (WT/DS353)

This case arose from the proceedings in DS317 - see item above.
During the proceedings before the Panel in DS317, the US claimed
that certain matters which formed part of the Panel request by the
EC had not been the subject of consultations. The EC therefore
issued a further request for consultations to the US on 1 July
2005, and made a formal request for the establishment of a Panel on
23 January 2006. On 4 and 8 December 2006 the DSB renamed and
renumbered these proceedings as DS353.

Brazil – Measures Affecting Imports of Retreaded Tyres
(WT/DS332)

No new developments. Australia made a brief third party oral
statement to the Panel in July 2006 - see July 2006 Bulletin.
The Panel's report is expected by mid-2007.

Chile – Price Band System and Safeguard Measures
Relating to Certain Agricultural Products –Recourse to
Article 21.5 (WT/DS207)

The Panel report was issued on 8 December 2006 and is available
on the WTO
website
. The Appellate Body is scheduled to hear an appeal by
Chile concerning the Panel's findings in March 2007.

Meetings of the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB)

At the DSB meeting on 23 January a panel was established in the
Mexico-Countervailing Measures on Olive Oil from the EC as a result
of a request from the EC. The US, Canada, China and Norway joined
as third parties. The DSB also adopted the Appellate Body Report in
United States - Measures Relating to Zeroing and Sunset Reviews
(WT/DS322/AB/R). At the DSB meeting on 20 February the Panel
Report in the US-Anti-dumping measures on Shrimp from Ecuador
(DS335) was adopted.

Next DSB Meetings

The next regular meeting of the DSB is scheduled to take place
on 20 March 2007.

WTO Dispute Settlement: Developments of Interest

WTO Dispute Settlement: One-Page Case Summaries

On 16 January 2007 the WTO published the first edition of
"WTO Dispute Settlement: One-Page Case Summaries".
Prepared by the WTO's Legal Affairs Division, the publication
summaries the key facts and findings of the panel and, where
applicable, Appellate Body reports for each of the 103 cases
adopted by the Dispute Settlement Body during the period 1995
– 1 September 2006. The publication can be downloaded from
the WTO
website
.

WTO chairpersons for 2007

On 7 February, the WTO General Council noted the consensus on
the slate of names of chairpersons for WTO Bodies. HE Ambassador
Bruce Gosper, Australia's Permanent Representative to the
WTO, was appointed as the Chair of the Dispute Settlement Body. The
full slate of Chairpersons can be viewed on the WTO
website
.

Publication : Ten Years of WTO Dispute Settlement: Australian
Perspectives
- Released - February 2007

This publication, produced by the Department's WTO Trade Law
Branch, marks ten years of the WTO's Dispute Settlement system. It
is a diverse collection of Australian perspectives on WTO dispute
settlement from those who have been exposed to the system -
including in government, industry, academia and legal
practise. Download a copy or email wto.disputes@dfat.gov.au to request a hard copy or CD-ROM
version.

The following reports were circulated in
January/February:

United States – Measures Relating to Zeroing and Sunset
Reviews (WT/DS322/AB/R), Appellate Body Report, issued 9 January
2007. The full report is available on the WTO
website
.

United States – Anti-dumping measure on shrimp from
Ecuador (DS/D335), Panel Report, issued 30 January 2007. The full
report is available on the WTO
website.

[Archived bulletins]

Last Updated: 9 January 2013
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