Russia appeals against WTO pigmeat ruling

The Russian Federation has filed a notice of appeal against the World Trade Organisation (WTO) ruling on Russia’s early-2014 import ban on live pigs, fresh pork and other pig products from the EU.

The Russian appeal was lodged on Friday, September 23, well within the 60 days which WTO allows for such cases.

The only additional information given at this stage by the WTO is that while parties to a dispute can appeal a panel’s ruling, appeals have to be based on points of law, such as legal interpretation. They cannot re-open factual findings made by the panel.

Each appeal is heard by three members of a permanent seven-member Appellate Body comprising persons of “recognized authority and unaffiliated with any government”.

The original ruling, which was made public on August 19, concluded that, regarding the application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures, the EU-wide ban and the EU member state bans (imposed by Russia) were “inconsistent” with WTO agreement on the application of SPS measures and were “significantly more trade restrictive than required to achieve Russia’s appropriate level of protection”.

The judgement also found that Russia’s measures had been “applied in a manner which constitutes a disguised restriction on international trade”.

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