Issurance of panel report on “Korea - Import bans, and testing and certification requirements for radionuclides” in the WTO Dispute Settlement Proceedings
1. On February 22 (same day local time), the World Trade Organization (WTO) issued a panel report on “Korea – Import bans, and testing and certification requirements for radionuclides” in which Japan had filed its complaints against the Republic of Korea. The panel report finds that the Republic of Korea’s measures are inconsistent with the WTO Agreement and recommends the Republic of Korea to bring its measures into conformity with its obligations under the WTO Agreement.
2. Japan welcomes the panel’s findings and calls for the Republic of Korea to faithfully and promptly bring its WTO inconsistent measures into conformity with its WTO obligations under the WTO Agreement.
(1) Following the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident in March 2011, the Republic of Korea introduced imports restriction measures on products imported from Japan including fishery products. In September 2013, the Republic of Korea adopted additional restriction measures; (i) an import ban on all fishery products from eight prefectures and (ii) extending the requirements for additional radionuclides testing to all Japanese food products including fishery products.
eight prefectures: Aomori, Chiba, Fukushima, Gunma, Ibaraki, Iwate, Miyagi and Tochigi
(2) Considering these measures could be inconsistent with obligations under the WTO Agreement, in May 2015, Japan requested consultations with the Republic of Korea pursuant to the Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes (DSU). Following the consultations in June 2015, Japan requested the establishment of a panel in August 2015. In September 2015, the Panel was established.
(3) Pursuant to relevant provisions of the DSU, a panel report shall be adopted at a Dispute Settlement Body meeting within 60 days after the date of circulation of the report to the Members and its findings become fixed, unless a party to the dispute appeals to the Appellate Body.