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Joint Press Release with the Ministry of Foreign AffairsJapan Requested Establishment of a Panel under the WTO Agreement Regarding Ukraine’s Safeguard Measures on Motor Vehicles

On February 13, 2014, Japan has requested the World Trade Organization (WTO) to establish a panel  under the WTO Agreement regarding Ukraine’s safeguard measures on motor vehicles.

1. Overview

The Government of Ukraine has been imposing additional duties on motor vehicles as safeguard measures for three years since April 14, 2013 (6.46% on vehicles with 1,000–1,500 cc displacement and 12.95% on those with 1,500–2,200 cc displacement).

However, the Government of Japan considers that Ukraine’s measures were imposed inconsistently with the provisions of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the WTO Agreement on Safeguards in terms of defects in the approval of the requirements for imposing the measure (increased imports, serious injury to the domestic industry, causal links, etc.) and defects in procedural requirements for imposing the measures.

In addition, it is expected that the measures will impose additional duties of about 19 billion yen annually just looking at the import shipments of vehicles directly to Ukraine from Japan, which raises concern regarding the possible adverse impact on Japanese industry.

In light of this situation, on October 30, 2013 Japan requested Ukraine to hold a bilateral consultation under the WTO Agreement and consultations were held on November 29, 2013, and January 21, 2014.

Based on the results of the consultations, on February 13, 2014, Japan requested the WTO to establish a panel regarding the safeguard measures on motor vehicles imposed by Ukraine.

2. Future schedule

Japan will seek an appropriate solution of this issue in accordance with WTO Agreements.

3. References

1) Safeguard measures

A safeguard measure is an emergency measure stipulated in the WTO Agreement, under which the importing country’s government is able to impose additional duties or quantitative restrictions against the imported products at issue in order to prevent serious injury to the domestic industry from surging imports of such products.

2) Panels under the WTO Agreement

If consultations fail to settle a dispute, based on the request from the complaining party, the WTO panel, a quasi-judicial third party, examines the matter and gives rulings regarding the consistency with the WTO Agreement. When a party is not satisfied with the panel rulings, it may appeal to the WTO Appellate Body.

Release Date

February 13, 2014

Division in Charge

  • General information on WTO dispute settlements:
    Multilateral Trade System Department & Office for WTO Compliance and Dispute Settlement, Trade Policy Bureau
  • Information on the automobile industry:
    Automobile Division, Manufacturing Industries Bureau
  • Information on the economic relationship between Japan and Ukraine:
    Europe Division, Trade Policy Bureau

Related Information

WTO

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
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