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European Communities and its Member States — Tariff Treatment of Certain Information Technology Products

Key Facts
Short Title: EC — IT Products
Respondent: European Communities
Complaintant(s): United States;
Dispute Number: DS375
Link to Dispute Site: http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/dispu_e/cases_e/ds375_e.htm
Dispute Status: Concluded
Complaint by the United States.

The United States and Japan on 28 May 2008, and Chinese Taipei on 12 June 2008, requested consultations with the European Communities and its member States with respect to their tariff treatment of certain information technology products.

The United States, Japan and Chinese Taipei all claim that the tariff treatment the European Communities and its member States accord to certain information technology products does not respect their commitments to provide duty-free treatment for these products under the Information Technology Agreement (ITA). According to the United States, Japan and Chinese Taipei, the European Communities and its member States now impose duties on these products contrary to their scheduled duty-free tariff concessions arising from the ITA.

The United States, Japan and Chinese Taipei assert that a number of EC customs classification legal instruments, alone or in combination with Council Regulation (EEC) No. 2658/87 of 23 July 1987 on the tariff and statistical nomenclature and on the Common Customs Tariff, including all annexes thereto, as amended, appear to be inconsistent with the EC's and its member States' obligations under Article II:1(a) and II:1(b) of the GATT 1994 and their Schedules, and therefore nullify or impair benefits accruing to the United States, Japan and Chinese Taipei under the GATT 1994.

The United States and Chinese Taipei also claim that the publication of certain amended explanatory notes in the EC Official Journal after their application by its member States is inconsistent with the EC's obligations under Article X:1 and X:2 of the GATT 1994.

With respect to disputes WT/DS375 and WT/DS376, Thailand, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, Chinese Taipei and China requested to join the consultations.

With respect to dispute WT/DS377, the United States, China and Japan requested to join the consultations. Subsequently, the European Communities informed the DSB that it had accepted the request of China to join the consultations.

On 18 August 2008, the United States, Japan and Chinese Taipei, jointly and severally, requested the establishment of a panel. At its meeting on 29 August 2008, the DSB deferred the establishment of a panel. At its meeting on 23 September 2008, the DSB established a panel and Brazil; China; Hong Kong, China; India; Korea; the Philippines; Thailand and Viet Nam reserved their third-party rights. Subsequently, Australia, Costa Rica, Singapore and Turkey reserved their third-party rights.

 

Panel Proceedings
Brief DateBrief Description
08/04/2009U.S. Comments on the EC's Answers to the Questions of the Panel and the United States in Connection with the Second Panel Meeting
07/24/2009U.S. Answers to the Panel's Questions in Connection with the Second Panel Meeting
07/24/2009U.S. Answers to the EC's Questions in Connection with the Second Panel Meeting
07/20/2009Executive Summary of the U.S. Oral Statement at the Second Panel Meeting
07/09/2009U.S. Oral Statement at the Second Panel Meeting
06/26/2009Executive Summary of the U.S. Rebuttal Submission
06/16/2009U.S. Rebuttal Submission
06/03/2009U.S. Answers to the Panel's Questions in Connection with the First Panel Meeting
06/03/2009U.S. Answers to the EC's Questions in Connection with the First Panel Meeting
05/22/2009Executive Summary of U.S. Opening Oral Statement at the First Panel Meeting (pdf)
05/14/2009U.S. Closing Oral Statement at the First Panel Meeting (pdf)
05/12/2009U.S. Oral Statement at the First Panel Meeting (pdf)
03/16/2009Executive Summary of the U.S. First Written Submission (pdf)
03/05/2009U.S. First Written Statement (pdf)