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Dispute settlement | Brussels, 17 February 2020

Trade enforcement: EU requests WTO panels with India and Colombia on ICT products and frozen fries

The EU today stepped up its action against unlawful trade restrictions affecting EU exporters of frozen fries and information and communications technology (ICT) products by requesting World Trade Organization (WTO) panels with Colombia and India.

Commissioner for Trade Phil Hogan said: “In the current global circumstances, enforcement of our rights under international trade rules must become a central part of our trade policy efforts. We need to use all means at our disposal to remove trade restrictions affecting European companies, big and small, across all sectors of the EU economy. Today’s panel requests confirm our determination to enforce our trade rights using binding and independent WTO dispute settlement, which is a cornerstone of a rules-based trading system.”

The dispute with Colombia concerns unlawful anti-dumping duties of 3% to 8% affecting nearly all sales of frozen fries from Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands in the Colombian market worth over €19 million a year.

The dispute with India concerns exports of products such as cell phones, telephone handsets and telecommunication wires hit by tariffs of up to 20%, contrary to the Indian WTO duty-free commitments and affecting exports worth around €400 million a year and related EU jobs.

The request for the establishment of a panel in both disputes follows government-to-government formal consultations, which took place on 21 May 2019 with India and on 15 and 16 January 2020 with Colombia, and multiple earlier bilateral contacts that did not lead to the removal of the trade restrictions.

For more information

EU request for WTO panel establishment with India (Geneva; 17 February 2020)
EU request for WTO panel establishment on dispute with Colombia (Geneva; 17 February 2020)

Background

WTO dispute with India on import duties on ICT
WTO dispute with Colombia on anti-dumping duties on frozen fries
EU action to enforce existing global trade rules
WTO dispute settlement and panel proceedings explained