Argentina - Measures Affecting the Export of Bovine Hides and the Import of Finished Leather

Report of the Panel

On 24 December 1998, the European Communities requested consultations with Argentina concerning certain measures taken by Argentina on the export of bovine hides and the import of finished leather. The European Communities alleged that the de facto export prohibition on raw and semi-tanned bovine hides (which is implemented in part through the authorization granted by the Argentinian authorities to the Argentinian tanning industry to participate in customs control procedures of hides before export) is in violation of GATT Articles; XI:1 (which outlaws de jure export prohibitions and measures of equivalent effect); and X:3(a) (which requires uniform and impartial administration of laws and regulations) to the extent that personnel of the Argentinian Chamber for the tanning industry are authorized to assist Argentinian customs authorities. The European Communities also claimed that the “additional value added tax” of 9 per cent on imports of products into Argentina and the “advance turnover tax” of 3 per cent based on the price of imported goods imposed on operators when importing goods into Argentina are in violation of Article III:2 of the GATT 1994 (which prohibits tax discrimination of foreign products which are like, directly competitive or substitutable to domestic products).

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