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Cases involving the EU

WT/DS108 - Tax treatment for "Foreign Sales Corporations"

Last update: 14/12/2006

  • Complaint by: EU
  • Complaint against: United States
  • Third parties:
    Australia - Barbados - Canada - India - Japan
Summary of case:

The FSC scheme provided for an exemption to the general rules established in the US Internal Revenue Code (sections 921-927) which resulted in substantial tax savings for US companies exporting through foreign sales corporations (FSCs). Despite later changes to the law, the relevant legislation remained WTO-inconsistent and was the subject of challenges by the EU through WTO compliance panels.

Relevant WTO provision:

Subsidies (3)
Agriculture (8, 9, 10)

Current situation:

On 14 March 2006, following the Panel and Appellate Body rulings in favour of the EC in the third round of the WTO litigation on this matter, the DSB confirmed the WTO incompatibility of the challenged US legislation that replaced the original FSC legislation in 2000 (FSC Replacement Act/ETI) and 2004 (American Jobs Creation Act). As a result, and as provided under the applicable EC Regulation, EC countermeasures had to be reintroduced automatically. On 11 May 2006, the US Congress adopted a Bill repealing the grandfathering provisions of the FSC/ETI legislation and the American Jobs Creation Act for the next taxable years. As the transition rules of that legislation were set to expire end-2006, the Commission submitted a proposal for the termination of the countermeasures. The proposal was approved by the Council through Council Regulation (EC) NO 728/2006 of 15 May 2006.

Consultation:

Date of request: 18/11/1997

Panel:

Date of request: 01/07/1998
Date of establishment: 22/09/1998
Date of circulation of report: 08/10/1999

Appeal:

Date of request: 26/11/1999
Date of circulation of report: 24/02/2000

Date of adoption - panel/AB report:

20/03/2000

Implementation deadline:

01/11/2000

Recourse to Articles:

  • 13-01-2005 - Recourse to Art. 21.5 -
  • 20-12-2000 - Recourse to Art. 21.5 -
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