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Dispute settlement | Brussels, 15 January 2015

WTO Appellate Body condemns Argentina’s import restrictions

The WTO’s Appellate Body today confirmed the earlier panel’s findings: the various practices imposed by the Argentinean authorities on companies as a condition to import goods into the country are illegal under WTO law.

Argentina should no longer require foreign firms to limit their imports, offset the value of imports with equivalent exports, invest in the country and keep their profits there, or use certain amount of Argentine content in their products.

The WTO's Appellate Body also confirmed that Argentina should not require firms to secure an approval for their imports using the procedure known as the Advanced Sworn Import Declaration.

Argentina should now renounce to its practices allowing European companies to resume normal business with their Argentine partners.

Argentina introduced the measures as part of its so-called 'managed trade' policy. Its aim was to substitute imports for locally-sourced products and to reduce the country's foreign trade deficit. The measures have imposed a severe burden on importers of EU products into Argentina and impaired the capacity of foreign firms to operate in the country.

The measures soon triggered an international reaction. The dispute brought into the WTO by the EU, Japan and the US in May 2012 resulted last summer in a panel's ruling condemning the Argentine practices.

On 26 September 2014, Argentina appealed certain parts of the report, which was followed by the EU's own appeal on a limited number of issues. The EU's appeal aimed to ensure that in case the Appellate Body reversed the panel's overarching findings, the specific situations in which Argentina applied the restrictions would come separately under scrutiny.

For more information

Report of the WTO Appellate Body

Report by the WTO Panel

Press Release: EU welcomes WTO ruling against Argentinian measures on imports (22 August 2014)

Press Release: EU challenges Argentina's import restrictions (25 May 2012)

Q&As: EU's challenge to Argentina's import restrictions at the WTO