EU requests World Trade Organisation…

 The EU today requested the establishment of a World Trade Organisation (WTO) panel to rule on a dispute concerning Colombia’s discriminatory treatment of imported spirits. The EU and Colombia held consultations earlier in the year which however failed to reach a solution to the dispute. While the EU recognizes Colombia’s efforts to bring about reform in the spirits’ regime since the initiation of the dispute, EU spirits continue to be discriminated in the Colombian market. The EU’s concerns about discrimination of EU spirits in the Colombian market are longstanding. EU spirits are subject to higher taxes and local charges than those applied to local brands. In addition, market restrictions apply in the departments or local subdivisions of Colombia. The departments impose market-access restrictions that distort the competitive conditions in the market to the detriment of EU spirits. This is in contravention of Colombia’s non-discrimination obligations under WTO rules. The EU is the number one exporter of spirits to the Colombian market and, as a result, the trading partner most affected by these measures. In 2014, EU exports of spirits to Colombia – valued at €43 million – represented approximately 14% of total agricultural exports to Colombia and 77% of total Colombian imports of spirits. A press release in all languages is available online with further information. 

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