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EU request for retaliation against Russia in pig products dispute referred to arbitration

At a special meeting of the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) on 3 January, a European Union request for authorization to suspend concessions or other obligations with respect to the Russian Federation in a dispute over import restrictions on pig products was referred to arbitration.

Tuesday 9 January 2018 (9 months 13 days ago)
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At the meeting, the EU said it had requested the suspension of concessions to preserve its rights in these dispute settlement proceedings. If Russia had agreed to a sequencing agreement as proposed by the EU, this step would not have been necessary at this stage, the EU said.

The EU said it took note of the information provided by Russia on measures taken to implement the recommendations and rulings in this case. These are very important, the EU said, including on the issue of adaptation of sanitary measures to regional conditions under the terms of Article 6 of the Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement). The EU said it is currently analysing all relevant elements of the Russian measures.

The Russian Federation referred to its communication of 8 December 2017 in which it informed WTO members that all rulings and recommendations of the DSB in the dispute were implemented by Russia in full and within the reasonable period of time agreed by the parties to the dispute.

In the light of these steps taken, Russia reiterated its strong disagreement with the allegations of the EU that Russia failed to comply with the recommendations and rulings of the DSB within the reasonable period of time in this dispute. Consequently, Russia reiterated its objection to the EU`s request for the suspension of concessions or obligations, as well as the proposed level thereof (EUR 1.39 billion per year plus a yearly increase rate of 15 per cent).

Russia also said the EU failed to resolve the disagreement as to the existence and/or consistency of measures taken by Russia to comply with the recommendations and rulings of the DSB in this dispute by referring this dispute to a compliance panel under Article 21.5 of the Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU) before submitting the request for suspension of obligations and concessions pursuant to Article 22.2 of the DSU. The compliance proceedings must precede retaliation if there are any disagreements over compliance and such disagreements must be resolved through the establishment of a compliance panel, Russia added.

The EU again regretted that Russia could not agree to a sequencing agreement which it said would have made the current step unnecessary.

The DSB took note of the statements and that the matter has been referred to arbitration as required by Article 22.6 of the DSU.

Wednesday January 3, 2018/ WTO.
https://www.wto.org

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