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Faroe Islands files dispute against the EU over fisheries measures


Faroe Islands files dispute against the EU over fisheries measures

Faroe Islands files dispute against the EU over fisheries measures

The Kingdom of Denmark, in respect of the Faroe Islands, notified the WTO Secretariat, on 4 November 2013, of a request for consultations with the European Union regarding “the use of coercive economic measures in relation to Atlanto-Scandian herring”.

The Faroe Islands is a self-governing territory of Denmark and is covered by Denmark’s membership of the WTO. However, the Faroe Islands is not covered by Denmark’s membership of the European Union.

The request for consultations claims that on 28 August 2013, the EU Commission adopted measures against the Faroe Islands, including prohibition on imports into the EU of Atlanto-Scandian herring and associated species of mackerel caught under the control of the Faroe Islands. The measures also include prohibition of the use of EU ports by Faroese-flagged vessels that fish for these species and by vessels that transport fish and fishery products stemming from herring or mackerel caught by Faroese-flagged vessels or vessels flying other flags but authorized by the Faroe Islands.

This is the first case in which an EU member state has requested consultations under the Dispute Settlement Understanding with another WTO member.

> Further information will be available within the next few days in documentWT/DS469/1

What is a request for consultations?

The request for consultations formally initiates a dispute in the WTO. Consultations give the parties an opportunity to discuss the matter and to find a satisfactory solution without proceeding further with litigation. After 60 days, if consultations have failed to resolve the dispute, the complainant may request adjudication by a panel.

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Azevêdo continues intensive consultations as members head for the final stretch to Bali

Director-General Roberto Azevêdo, on 18 November 2013, continued without a pause his intensive consultations over the weekend and the previous weeks on a Bali package consisting of agreements on trade facilitation, agriculture and development issues as members head for the final stretch to the WTO’s 9th Ministerial Conference on 3-6 December 2013.

DG Azevêdo is due to report to the final General Council meeting before Bali — on 21 November — on progress in his consultations.

WTO ambassadors resumed consultations on Section II of a draft agreement on trade facilitation. This section provides the basis for special and differential treatment and for technical assistance and capacity building needed for the implementation of the agreement.

In agriculture, members are focusing on proposals about reducing export subsidies and related policies known collectively as “export competition”, reducing the chances that the methods used to share out a particular type of quota among traders become trade barriers in their own right, on how to deal with developing countries’ food stockholding for food security when the purchases could distort trade, on adding a number of environmental and development services to the list of programmes considered not to distort trade and therefore allowed without limit, and on cotton produced by least-developed countries (LDCs).

On development, members have agreed proposals by LDCs on preferential rules of origin and on operationalization of the services waiver for them. Work continues on duty-free, quota free treatment for LDCs. Members are also consulting on a monitoring mechanism for special and differential treatment for developing countries under WTO agreements.

DG Azevêdo has stressed that the negotiations for a Bali package must be concluded in Geneva before the Ministerial Conference. He told the Trade Negotiations Committee on 12 November that “one of the clearest messages from my consultations with members is that Bali must not be a negotiating conference”.