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WTO cases

Cases involving the EU

WT/DS339 - Measures affecting imports of automobile parts

Last update: 04/11/2008

  • Complaint by: EU
  • Complaint against: China
  • Third parties:
Summary of case:

The EC challenges the Chinese measures under which imported autmobile parts, as defined by the measures, which are used in the manufacture of vehicles for sale in China are considered to fulfil the characterstics of a whole vehicle if they are imported in excess of certain thresholds. This is the case when specific combinations of parts of the later assembled vehicle are imported or when the price of the imported parts attain 60% or more of the vehicle. If these thresholds are met, the measures provide that imported parts will be subject to charges equal the tariffs for a complete vehicle. These charges are assessed after the assembly of the parts into complete vehicles. The EC considers that the People's Republic of China has failed to comply with its obligations under the GATT 1994, the TRIMs Agreement, the SCM Agreement and the Protocol on the Accesision of the People's Republic of China.

Relevant WTO provision:

GATT (II, III)
TRIMs (2)
SCM (3)
The Protocol on the Accession of the People's Republic of China

Current situation:

A single Panel has been established on 26 October 2006 to deal with the complaints of the EC (DS 339), the US (DS 340) and of Canada (DS 342). The Panel report was circulated on 18 July 2007 and found China's measures to be in breach of GATT Art. III:2 and III:4 and not justified by GATT Art. XX(d). The Panel also found in the alternative that the measures would breach GATT Art. II:1(a) and II:1(b) and woudl not be justified by GATT Art. XX(d). As far as CKDs and SKDs are concerned the Panel found that the measures did not breach GATT Art. II:1(b). China notified an appeal on 15 September 2008. The Appellate Body hearing took place on 27-28 October 2008.

Consultation:

Date of request: 30/03/2006

Appeal:

Date of request: 15/09/2008

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