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Enforcement and protection | Brussels, 15 November 2019

European Union launches WTO trade dispute against Colombia’s unfair duties on frozen fries

The EU has today brought a dispute to the World Trade Organization (WTO) against unlawful anti-dumping measures imposed by Colombia on frozen fries from Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.

Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström said: “Despite numerous interventions with Colombia to lift the unjustified measures, we have not received a satisfactory response. This is why we are now taking the next step by launching a case at the WTO. The EU will continue to use the multilateral trading system to enforce the rules when others violate them, especially when this puts EU jobs and industry at risk. We hope to resolve the issue as soon as possible, preferably already in the upcoming WTO consultations, the first phase of the dispute proceedings.”

The anti-dumping duties imposed by Colombia a year ago are incompatible with WTO law, both on substance and in terms of the procedure applied to put them in place. The duties applied to European imports over a period of two years range from around 3% to 8%. These unwarranted duties restrict access to the Colombian market, affecting almost 85% of EU exports of frozen fries to this market, worth over €19 million a year.

The first step of the dispute settlement consists of a 60-day long consultation. WTO consultations will give the EU and Colombia the opportunity to find a negotiated solution. If the consultations requested today with Colombia do not result in a satisfactory solution, the EU can request that the WTO set up a panel to rule on the issues raised.

The EU has been regularly intervening in cases of abusive use of trade defence measures by our trade partners and will continue to take all necessary steps to protect the interests of European industry in line with WTO rules.

For more information:

EU request for WTO consultations with Colombia

WTO dispute settlement system