United States - Import Measures on Certain Products from the European Communities

Report of the Panel

On 4 March 1999, the EC requested consultations with the US in respect of the US decision, effective as of 3 March 1999, to withhold liquidation on imports from the EC of a series of products together valued at over $500 million on an annual basis, and to impose a contingent liability for 100% duties on each individual importation of affected products. On 2 March 1999, the arbitrators charged with determining the level of suspension of concessions, requested by the United States in response to the failure by the EC to implement the recommendations of the DSB in respect of the EC’s banana regime (WT/DS27), had asked for additional data from the parties and informed the parties that they were unable to issue their report within the 60-day period envisaged by the DSU. The EC contends that the measure made effective by the US as of 3 March 1999 deprives EC imports into the United States, of the products in question, of the right to a duty not in excess of the rate bound in the US Schedule. The EC further contended that, by requiring the deposit of a bond to cover the contingent liability for 100% duties, US Customs effectively impose 100% duties on each individual importation. The EC alleged violations of Articles 3, 21, 22 and 23 of the DSU, and Articles I, II, VIII and XI of GATT 1994. The EC also alleged nullification and impairment of benefits under GATT 1994, as well as the impediment of the objectives of the DSU and GATT 1994. The EC had requested urgent consultations pursuant to Article 4.8 of the DSU.

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