About this publication
Australia and WTO dispute settlement
In this issue
Australia as a Complainant
There are no current disputes in which Australia is a complainant
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 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 but has not yet been composed.)
Australia as a Third Party: Selected Disputes
European Communities: Measures Affecting the Approval and Marketing of Biotech Products (WT/DS291, 292 and 293)
We understand that the release of the Panel's report has been delayed, and is not expected until early 2006.
United States/Canada: Continued Suspension of Obligations in the EC Hormones Dispute (WT/DS320 and WT/DS321)
Panels - established at the February DSB meeting at the request of the EC - continue to consider these two separate but related disputes . In September, part of the Panels' proceedings were open to observation by other WTO Members and the public, at the request of the parties to the dispute. This was the first time that proceedings of a WTO panel have been open to the public. The session for third party submissions to the panel remained closed, however, based on objections by some third parties.
The disputes relate to the WTO-consistency of the continued retaliation by the United States and Canada, despite European Communities claims of compliance with the findings in the EC - Hormones disputes. Australia is a third party to both disputes.
European Communities: Selected Customs Matters (WT/DS315)
A panel, composed in May, continues to examine United States' claims that the European Communities customs law is applied in a non-uniform manner and that the EC does not maintain a forum for the prompt review and correction of administrative action relating to customs matters. Australia is a third party to the dispute, as are Argentina, Brazil, China, Hong Kong - China, India, Japan, Korea, and Chinese Taipei.
European Communities and Certain Member States/United States: Measures Affecting Trade in Large Civil Aircraft (WT/DS316 and WT/DS317)
F act-finding procedures continue in both these disputes. These procedures were initiated by the DSB in September under the Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (SCM) Agreement Annex V at the request of the parties. Mr Mateo Diego-Fernandez, deputy chief of the Mexican delegation to the WTO, has been designated as facilitator of the process. Questions to third-country Members have been circulated as part of the SCM Annex V procedures, with responses due on 18 November.
This process followed the establishment in July of two panels to examine, respectively, the United States' complaint on the European Communities' subsidies to Airbus, and the European Communities' complaint regarding United States subsidies to Boeing. Australia has joined the disputes as a third party, together with Brazil, Canada, China, Japan and Korea.
Meetings of the Dispute Settlement Body
DSB Meeting: 28 November 2005
At the 28 November DSB Meeting, the European Communities' (EC) made a first request for a panel to examine Brazilian measures against imports of retreaded tyres. Brazil exercised its right to reject the EC request, and signalled that it would defend the measures on environmental and health protection grounds. The Appellate Body and panel reports in the United States - Oil Country Tubular Goods dispute brought by Mexico were adopted. The panel report in Indonesia's challenge to Korean anti-dumping duties on Indonesian paper imports was also adopted.
DSB Special Meeting - 6 December
At a special meeting on 6 December 2005, the DSB adopted the procedural decision sought by the European Communities and the United States in the United States - Zeroing dispute, to extend the period for adoption with application of the negative consensus rule of the panel report. An item on adoption of the panel's report in the Mexico - Beverages dispute was removed from the agenda, following Mexico's appeal of the report.
Next DSB Meetings
The next regular DSB Meeting will be held on Friday 20 January 2005. A special DSB meeting will be held on 20 December to adopt a number of reports circulated in November and other reports expected to be circulated in shortly.
WTO Dispute Settlement: Developments of Interest
The following reports were circulated recently, and are available on the WTO website.
Mexico - Definitive Anti-dumping Measures on Beef and Rice (Complaint with respect to Rice) (WT/DS295/AB/R) Appellate Body Report, circulated 29 November 2005
United States - Investigation of the International Trade Commission in Softwood Lumber from Canada (Recourse to Artice 21.5 by Canada) (WT/DS277/RW, circulated 15 November 2005
United States - Anti-dumping Measures on Oil Country Tubular Goods (OCTG) from Mexico (WT/DS282/AB/R) Appellate Body Report, circulated 2 November 2005