WTO Appellate Body issues reports on seal products dispute (22/05/2014)

pubilOn 22 May 2014, the WTO Appellate Body issued its reports in the case “European Communities – Measures Prohibiting the Importation and Marketing of Seal Products (DS400 / DS401)».Some of the findings and conclusions of the Appellate Body report include the following :

Τhe Appellate Body:

«a.reverses the Panel’s finding, in paragraphs 7.125 and 8.2(a) of the Canada Panel Report, that the EU Seal Regime constitutes a «technical regulation» within the meaning of Annex 1.1 to the TBT Agreement; and consequently, declares moot and of no legal effect [some of] the Panel’s conclusions […].

b.with respect to the Panel’s analysis under Article I:1 and Article III:4 of the GATT 1994:

i.upholds the Panel’s finding, in paragraphs 7.586 of the Canada Panel Report, that the legal standard of the non-discrimination obligations under Article 2.1 of the TBT Agreement does not apply equally to claims under Articles I:1 and III:4 of the GATT 1994; and

ii. upholds the Panel’s finding, in paragraphs 7.600 and 8.3(a) of the Canada Panel Report, that the EU Seal Regime is inconsistent with Article I:1 of the GATT 1994 because it does not «immediately and unconditionally» extend the same advantage accorded to seal products of Greenlandic origin to like seal products of Canadian origin;

c.[…], d.[…]

ii.completes the analysis and finds that the European Union has not demonstrated that the EU Seal Regime, in particular with respect to the IC exception, is designed and applied in a manner that meets the requirements of the chapeau of Article XX of the GATT 1994; and, therefore,

iii.finds that the European Union has not justified the EU Seal Regime under Article XX(a) of the GATT 1994; and

e.[…],

6.2. The Appellate Body recommends that the DSB request the European Union to bring its measure, found in this Report, and in the Canada Panel Report as modified by this Report, to be inconsistent with the GATT 1994, into conformity with its obligations under that Agreement.»

Read the full Appellate Body reports here.

Source : WTO