TWN Info Service
on WTO and Trade Issues (Apr10/05)
Geneva, 8 Apr (Kanaga Raja) -- A request by the United States for the establishment of a dispute panel over the taxation of distilled spirits by the Philippines was blocked by the Philippines at a meeting of the WTO Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) on Thursday.
This is a first-time
request and panel establishment would be automatic when a second request
In a communication
to the DSB dated 26 March, the
Distilled spirits produced
from certain materials that are typically produced in the
According to the
The taxes appear to
be applied in a way that affords protection to domestic production.
In addition, the taxes appear to subject imported distilled spirits
to internal taxes in excess of those applied to like domestic products,
[Article III: 2 states: The products of the territory of any [Member] imported into the territory of any other [Member] shall not be subject, directly or indirectly, to internal taxes or other internal charges of any kind in excess of those applied, directly or indirectly, to like domestic products. Moreover, no [Member] shall otherwise apply internal taxes or other internal charges to imported or domestic products in a manner contrary to the principles set forth in paragraph 1.
[The preceding Article III: 1 states: The [Members] recognize that internal taxes and other internal charges, and laws, regulations and requirements affecting the internal sale, offering for sale, purchase, transportation, distribution or use of products, and internal quantitative regulations requiring the mixture, processing or use of products in specified amounts or proportions, should not be applied to imported or domestic products so as to afford protection to domestic production.]
In a statement at the
According to trade
According to trade
In an intervention,
the EU supported the
According to trade officials, the EU observed that this longstanding tax discrimination case had worsened over the years.
It said that currently, imported spirits were subject to an excise tax 10 to 50 times higher than the tax imposed on domestic spirits.
The EU further said
that as a result of the increasing discrimination, its exports (of distilled
spirits) to the