The EU should bring its definitive safeguard measure into conformity with the Agreement on Safeguards and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT 1994), a WTO Dispute Settlement Body panel has recommended.
In March 2020, Turkey requested consultations with the EU pursuant to Articles 1 and 4 of the Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes (DSU), Article XXIII:1 of GATT 1994, and Article 14 of the Agreement on Safeguards. Consultations were held on 29 April 2020 but failed to resolve the dispute.
In July of that year, Turkey requested the establishment of a panel pursuant to Article 6 of the DSU and Article 14 of the Agreement on Safeguards. The DSU subsequently established a panel.
In concluding its investigation last week, the panel found that Turkey has successfully established that the EU’s definitive safeguard measure is inconsistent with Article XIX:1(a) of the GATT 1994. This is because the European Commission did not ascertain that the increase in imports took place as a result of the unforeseen developments it had identified, and did not identify in its published reports the obligations whose effect resulted in the increase in imports, the WTO says in a note seen by Kallanish.
Also established was that measures are inconsistent with Article 4.1(b) of the Agreement on Safeguards, because two central elements of the European Commission’s determination of a threat of serious injury were not “based on facts” as required by that provision, the note adds.
Turkey did not however establish that measures are inconsistent with Article XIX:1(a) of the GATT 1994 and Articles 2.1, 3.1, 4.1(c), 4.2(a), 4.2(b), and 4.2(c) of the Agreement on Safeguards, or with Article XIX:1(a) of the GATT 1994 and Articles 2.1 and 4.2(a) of the Agreement on Safeguards. They are also not inconsistent with Article 5.1 of the Agreement on Safeguards, Article XIII:2(d) and the chapeau of Article XIII:2 of the GATT 1994 and Article 5.2(a) of the Agreement on Safeguards, or Article 7.4 of the Agreement on Safeguards.
In addition to requesting recommendations, Turkey asked the WTO to suggest that the EU revoke the safeguard at issue. However, the trade organisation has declined to do so.
Adam Smith Germany