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January 19, 2018
Australia files WTO complaint targeting rules on sale of wine in Canada
Australia notified the World Trade Organization (WTO) Secretariat that it requested dispute consultations with Canada regarding measures maintained by the Canadian government and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia concerning the sale of wine.
Australia claims that a range of distribution, licensing and sales measures such as product mark-ups, market access and listing policies, as well as duties and taxes on wine applied at the federal and provincial level, appear to discriminate against imported wine, in violation of the WTO's General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).
The request for consultations formally initiates a dispute in the WTO. Consultations give the parties an opportunity to discuss the matter and to find a satisfactory solution without proceeding further with litigation.
After 60 days, if the Australia and Canada are not able to reach a mutually agreed solution through consultations, Australia may request that the WTO establish a dispute settlement panel to examine the matter.
Link: Request for consultations by Australia (pdf)
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