Chronique de jurisprudence. Chronique des décisions de l'Organe de Règlement des Différends (ORD), août 2009-novembre 2010
The WTO dispute settlement body’s decisions provide an opportunity to bring to light the difficulties reconciling the market principles and non trade values in international trade law. The first two decisions, which involve the SPS Agreement, and also the GATT Agreement, deal respectively with matters related to biosecurity and the protection of health. As to the third decision, it is relative to the publications and audiovisual entertainment products. Finally, the fourth decision concerns the Agreement on Information technologies, mechanism of tariff reduction – although integrated in GATT – on numeric products. The first decision deals with the old opposition of Australia to authorize the importation of apples from New Zealand for biosecurity reasons. The panel report ruled against Australia for not having based its measure on a proper risk assessment, according to the SPS Agreement. The second decision involves the United States which had established a standstill agreement on poultry coming from China : following sanitary problems which were rather alarming, usual but nevertheless rigorous procedures of inspection did not appear to guarantee the level of protection considered as necessary. The United States are blamed by the panel report for this regulation, which is considered not to be in accordance with many of the SPS Agreement prescriptions. In addition, the difficult issue of the interface between this agreement and the GATT one is conveniently raised. The answer is however far from exhausting the debate in our opinion. The third decision on audiovisual entertainment products involves one more time China, whose policy in preferential national treatment is considered to be in contradiction with its commitments under the GATT Agreement. This case offers an opportunity to develop a reflection on a particular kind of goods : the cultural objects. The last decision condemns the European Communities for their taxation on flat TV screens in violation of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA).
Volume (Year): t.XXIV (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
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