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WTO Dispute Settlement Bulletin

Monthly Bulletin: March-May 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)

No new developments. 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)

The EC requested consultations with Australia regarding our
quarantine regime for imports in April 2003. A WTO dispute
settlement panel was established in November 2003, but was not
composed. Settlement of the dispute was notified to the WTO on 9
March 2007.

Australia as a Third Party: Selected Disputes

India – Measures Affecting the Importation and Sale of
Wines and Spirits from the European Communities (WT/DS352)

On 20 November 2006, the European Communities (EC) requested
consultations with India regarding duties applied by India which,
in the EC's view, adversely affect exports of wines and spirits
from the European Communities to India. On 23 March 2007, the
European Communities requested the establishment of a panel.
Australia joined the dispute as a third party.

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

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 Brazil, Thailand, Mexico,
Japan, Chinese Taipei and Argentina joined as third
parties. See: October Bulletin.

Australia delivered a statement to the Panel at the oral hearing
for third parties on 23 May 2007. Copies of Australia's
statement are available upon request (to wto.disputes@dfat.gov.au).

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. The
Panel's report is expected to be publicly issued in mid
2007.

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)

No new developments. 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. The Panel estimates that it will issue its
final report to the parties in the course of June 2007.

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

No new developments. An Article 21.5 panel was established in
September 2006 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
2007. Oral hearings took place on 27-28 February. The
report of the compliance panel is expected to be circulated at the
end of 2007.

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

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 been renumbered and constitutes a separate
dispute, numbered WT/DS353 - see item below.

The Panel in DS316 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 joined as
third parties in the dispute. Australia lodged its third
party written submission on 7 May 2007.

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

No new developments. This Panel suspended its work in October
2006.

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

No new developments. 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. The Panel has
since issued a revised timetable and working procedures.

Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Japan and Korea have joined as
third parties in the dispute.

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

No new developments. Australia made a brief third partyoral
statement to the Panel inJuly 2006 - see July 2006 Bulletin.
The Panel's report is expected in June 2007.

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

The report of the Appellate Body was issued 7 May 2007. The full
report is available on the WTO
website.

Meetings of the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB)

  • At the DSB meeting on 20 March a 21.5 Panel was
    established in Ecuador's dispute against the EC banana import
    regime (WT/DS27).
  • At the DSB meeting on 24 April a Panel was established
    in the EC's dispute against India's wine and spirit
    duties (WT/DS352). Panels were also established in
    Argentina's case against Chile's safeguard measures on
    milk products (WT/DS351 and WT/DS356) and Mexico's recourse
    to Article 21.5 in its antidumping dispute against the US on oil
    country tubular goods (WT/DS282).
  • At its meeting on 11 May the DSB adopted the Appellate
    Body report on the United States' sunset review of anti-dumping
    duties on oil country tubular goods from Argentina (WT/DS268).
  • At its meeting on 22 May the DSB adopted the compliance
    review reports on 'US gambling' case (WT/DS/285) and on
    Chile's price band system case (WT/DS/207).

Next DSB Meetings

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

WTO Dispute Settlement: Developments of Interest

The following reports were circulated in the period
March-May:

United States – Measures affecting the cross-border supply
of gambling and betting services (DS285). Panel report issued 30
March 2007
. Panel report issued 30
March 2007.[ PDF ].

United States – Sunset Reviews of Anti-Dumping Measures on
Oil Country Tubular Goods from Argentina (DS268)
[ PDF ]. Appellate Body
report issued 12 April 2007.

"Chile – Price Band System and Safeguard
Measures Relating to Certain Agricultural Products (Recourse to
Article 21.5 of the DSU by Argentina)" (WT/DS207/AB/RW)
[ PDF ].
Appellate Body report issued 7 May 2007.

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Last Updated: 9 January 2013
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