The European Potato Processors’ Association (EUPPA) recently reported that arbitrators have ruled in favour of the EU in the World Trade Organization (WTO) appeal regarding Colombia’s anti-dumping duties on frozen fries originating from Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.
‘The final and binding award confirms that these anti-dumping duties breach WTO rules and improperly restrict access to the Colombian market. The decision is a win for European producers, whose exports to Colombia of well over 20 million euro were affected by the Colombian duties’, the European Commission (EC) states.
The arbitrators confirm that Colombia’s anti-dumping investigation was flawed in several respects, including the calculation of the dumping margin and the injury analysis. EUPPA and its members have warned the relevant authorities about the detrimental impact of such measures for the sector. The Colombian-imposed duties that were set in November 2018, impact eighty-five percent (19.3 million euro) of the frozen fries exported to Colombia from the three EU countries concerned. EUPPA mentions it is relieved that its call has been heard by the European Commission and WTO arbitrators. ‘On behalf of the European potato processing companies exporting to Colombia, we sincerely thank the European Commission for its consistent and thorough efforts to ensure that the antidumping investigation is carried out in full compliance with WTO rules’, said EUPPA Secretary General Nuria Moreno. ‘This decision sends a strong signal to the EU’s international trade partners and provides much needed stability to European exporters in times of uncertainty with major geopolitical and economic disturbances’, she continued.
The EU brought this dispute against Colombia in November 2019. A WTO panel ruled in the EU’s favor in October 2022, after which Colombia appealed. After this final and binding ruling, the EC states that Colombia must now bring itself into compliance with the ruling, either immediately or within a time limit agreed with the EU or set by a WTO arbitrator. If Colombia does not comply, the EU can get WTO authorization to adopt countermeasures. ‘This is a major win for European exporters of fries, who were frozen out of the Colombian market. It is also significant in terms of upholding global trade rules’, Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President and Commissioner for Trade, commented on the outcome of the final appeal.
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