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EU Launches Compliance Proceedings Against Colombia in Frozen Fries Case

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The European Union has initiated compliance proceedings against Colombia in view of the South American nation’s failure to comply with rulings by the WTO Panel and Appeal Arbitrators concerning anti-dumping duties on imports of frozen fries from Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.

Colombia claimed to have implemented the findings and recommendations of the panel report and of the Multi-Party Interim Appeal Arbitration Arrangement’s (MPIA) Appeal Arbitration Award through its Ministerial Resolution issued on November 21, 2023. However, the EU considers that Colombia artificially created and/or inflated the dumping margins by using WTO-incompatible methodologies.

This is why the EU is making recourse to the WTO’s compliance consultation process. With this step, the world’s largest trading bloc seeks to preserve the rights of exporters from its member states and to send a signal to Colombia – as well as other countries intending to limit EU exports – that anti-dumping investigations need to be carried out in full respect of WTO rules. \

Next Steps
Parties involved in the case are expected to hold consultations within 15 days after the request for consultation. After the 15-day period has elapsed, the EU may request the establishment of a compliance panel pursuant to Article 21.5 of the WTO Dispute Settlement Understanding at any time.

Exports of frozen fries from Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany amounted to €23 million in value during 2016. The duties were imposed in November 2018, and target 85% or €19.3 million of EU exports of frozen fries to Colombia. Export volumes from the European Union overall remained stable after the imposition of measures until 2020. While in 2021 and 2022 total exports from the EU grew substantially, imports from the companies subject to duties were substituted by other EU exporters not subject to anti-dumping duties. Notably, Germany has not been exporting to Colombia since 2022.

This dispute (DS591) was submitted by the EU against Colombia in November 2019. The panel issued its final report to the parties on August 22, 2022, while the Arbitrators’ Award under the MPIA was issued on December 21, 2022.