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.
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
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
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
Australia as a Third Party: Selected Disputes
Turkey: Measures Affecting the importation of rice
No new developments. A panel was composed on 31 July 2006 and is
expected to conduct hearings in November 2006.
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. Parties now have 60 days to lodge an appeal.
United States/Canada: Continued Suspension of Obligations in
the EC Hormones Dispute (WT/DS320 and WT/DS321)
At the request of the parties in the disputes, the panels opened
their proceedings with the parties and scientific experts on 27-28
September for observation by WTO Members and the general public via
closed-circuit broadcast to a separate viewing room at WTO
Headquarters in Geneva.
European Communities: Selected Customs Matters (WT/DS315)
The Panel’s decision was circulated on 16 June
2006. The United States and European Communities have both
appealed the Panel’s decision and an Appellate Body hearing
took place on 28-29 September. Australia made an oral statement.
The Appellate Body decision reviewing the Panel decision is
expected by November.
See: July 2006 Bulletin for a summary of the Panel decision.
See: Oral statement by Australia to the Appellate Body [ PDF ]
United States: Subsidies on Upland Cotton (WT/DS267)
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 (US) to comply with the recommendations and rulings
of the DSB in this dispute. In making its request, Brazil
stated that with respect to some of the DSB's recommendations and
rulings in the dispute, adopted on 21 March 2005, the US had failed
to adopt any implementation measures, and that the implementation
measures that it had adopted fell far short of compliance with the
WTO covered agreements and the DSB's recommendations and rulings.
The US disagreed, indicating that it had terminated the Step 2
programme and two of the three export credit guarantee programmes
found to be prohibited subsidies by the DSB, while the third export
credit guarantee programme had been substantially modified. Given
the disagreement between the two parties as to the existence and
WTO consistency of measures taken to comply, Brazil sought recourse
to dispute settlement under Article 21.5 of the Dispute Settlement
Understanding, and requested that the DSB refer the matter to the
original panel. Australia, which was a third party to the original
proceedings, reserved its third-party rights to participate in the
Article 21.5 proceedings of the panel in this dispute.
China : Measures Affecting Imports of Automobile Parts
(WT/DS339, DS340 and DS342)
In April 2006, the EC, the US and Canada each filed requests for
consultations with China about China’s measures affecting
imports of automobile parts. Joint consultations were held in
Geneva on 11 – 12 May 2006 and Australia, Japan and Mexico
attended as third parties to those consultations. The
complainants claim that China imposes a charge on imported auto
parts that is equal to the higher tariff on completed motor
vehicles where the imported auto parts constitute a certain
percentage of a vehicle that is assembled within China. In
particular, they submit that the disputed measures breach the GATT
rules against discriminatory taxation, the prohibition against
subsidies contingent on local content under the SCM Agreement,
China’s Schedule of Concessions, China’s Protocol of
Accession, and the TRIMS Agreement. At the 28 September 2006
meeting of the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB), the complainants
requested the establishment of panels. However, China blocked
these first-time requests. The panel will be established
automatically at the second requests.
European Communities and Certain Member States/United
States: Measures Affecting Trade in Large Civil Aircraft
(WT/DS316 and WT/DS317)
No new developments. See item below (WT/DS347) on the second
panel established to examine EC measures.
European Communities and Certain Member States: Measures
Affecting Trade in Large Civil Aircraft (Second Complaint)
There have been no further developments in this dispute
following establishment of the panel and agreed organizational
timetable – see July 2006 Bulletin.
Brazil – Measures Affecting Imports of Retreaded Tyres
No new developments. Australia made a brief oral statement to
the panel at the Third Party Session on 6 July 2006 - see July 2006 Bulletin. The Panel’s report is expected by
Chile – Price Band System and Safeguard Measures
Relating to Certain Agricultural Products –Recourse to
Article 21.5 (WT/DS207)
No new developments. An oral hearing for third parties took
place on 2 August. Australia made an oral statement. The Panel is
expected to complete its work by late 2006.
See: Oral Statement by Australia to the Panel [ PDF ]
Meetings of the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB)
Two regular meetings of the DSB took place during
At its meeting on 1 September, the DSB deferred Brazil's
first-time request for a compliance panel to examine US
implementation in the “Cotton” case (DS267) following
an objection by the US.
At its meeting on 28 September, the DSB established a
compliance panel under DSU Article 21.5 at the second request by
Brazil to review US' implementation of the DSB rulings in the
“Cotton” case. At the same meeting, China blocked the
first-time requests by the EC, US and Canada for panels to examine
China's measures on imports of auto parts; and the US blocked
Thailand's first-time request for a panel to examine US measures on
shrimp from Thailand.
Further information on DSB proceedings is available on the WTO
Next DSB Meetings
The next regular meeting of the DSB is scheduled to take place
on 26 October 2006.
WTO Dispute Settlement: Developments of Interest
On 20 September, the WTO issued the panel report that had
examined Japan's complaint against US' measures relating to zeroing
and sunset reviews (DS322). The report is available on the WTO
On 28 September, Mr. David Unterhalter was sworn in as a
member of the Appellate Body at a ceremony at the WTO.
On 29 September, the WTO issued the reports of the panel
that had examined complaints by the United States, Canada and
Argentina, respectively, against “European Communities
— Measures affecting the approval and marketing of biotech
products” (DS291, DS292 and DS293). These reports are
available on the WTO