WTO issues panel report regarding Korean restrictions on Japanese food imports

We understand the WTO has issued their Panel Report in relation to the previous complaint lodged by Japan. On 21 May 2015, Japan requested consultations with Korea regarding:

(a) import bans on certain food products;

(b) additional testing and certification requirements regarding the presence of certain radionuclides; and

(c) a number of alleged omissions concerning transparency obligations under the SPS Agreement. Korea's measures were adopted subsequent to the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in March 2011.

The WTO Dispute Panel have provided the following outcome of the review;

'The Panel found that the measures at issue were SPS measures within the meaning of Article 1.1 and Annex A(1)(b) of the SPS Agreement and determined that Korea had not shown that these measures fall within the scope of Article 5.7 of the SPS Agreement. The Panel found that Japan had not demonstrated that Korea acted inconsistently with its obligations under Article 8 and Annex C of the SPS Agreement with respect to the adoption and maintenance of the 2011 and 2013 additional testing requirements. The Panel found that Korea's 2011 additional testing requirements and 2012 product-specific import bans were neither discriminatory nor more trade-restrictive than required when adopted. However, the Panel found that the maintenance of these measures as well as the adoption and maintenance of the 2013 additional testing requirements was inconsistent with Korea's obligations under Articles 2.3 and 5.6 of the SPS Agreement. The Panel also found that Korea failed to comply with its transparency obligations under Article 7 and Annex B of the SPS Agreement with respect to the publication of all the measures and the duties of its SPS Enquiry Point.'

For further information please visit the WTO website at: https://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/dispu_e/cases_e/ds495_e.htm#bkmk495r

Regards,

Russell Wilkinson

CEO - Trusted Trader International

www.trustedtrader.com.au