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WTO Panel’s report on biodiesel from Argentina inconclusive

At the end of March the World Trade Organization (WTO) Panel published its report in the case brought by Argentina regarding the EU anti-dumping measures on Argentinean biodiesel imports. The European Biodiesel Board (EBB), a trade body that represents 75 percent of the European output. views the Panel decision as a first episode in the legal battle engaged by Argentina and Indonesia in the WTO and before the European Court. EBB expects the European Commission (EC) to appeal parts of the Panel report for review by the Appellate Body. In particular, the Panel conclusion that the method used by EC to correct distortions caused by the Argentinean differential export tax (DET) system, was in violation of WTO law.

– The WTO Panel’s report is not an outright victory for the Argentinean industry, as many of its claims, together with the request to withdraw the EU anti-dumping duties, have been rejected by the WTO Panel. The EBB considers WTO’s decision only as a first episode in a long, strenuous legal battle over the legitimacy of the EU defence measures. This issue has implications that go well beyond the case of biodiesel as shown by the number of countries that have supported as third parties in this proceeding. It is thus essential that the Commission appeal the questionable parts of the report before the Appellate Body, stated EBB’s Secretary General, Raffaello Garofalo.

The issue may resolve itself if the call by Brussels-based European Federation for Transport and Environment (T&E), an non-profit organisation that represents the interests of around 50 environmental groups and campaigners working for sustainable transport policies is heeded – zero ”food-based biofuels” after 2020.

– We are surprised that T&E focuses on GLOBIOM and ignores the study on ILUC done by CARB, which identified biodiesel as the best performing GHG biofuel, said Garofalo.

5281/AS

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