Canada files WTO complaint against Chinese import restrictions on canola seed
Christian Fernsby | ▼ September 12, 2019
Canada has requested WTO dispute consultations with China concerning measures imposed by China affecting the importation of canola seed from Canada.
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Topics: CANADA CHINA CANOLA WTO SEE COMPLAINT
The request was circulated to WTO members on 12 September.
This request relates to China's suspension of canola seed imports from two Canadian companies and China's application of enhanced inspections to canola seed imports from other Canadian companies.
China suspended the importation of canola seed from two Canadian companies on 1 March, 2019 and 26 March, 2019, respectively.
Other Canadian companies remain eligible to export canola seed to China but these imports are subject to enhanced inspections, including increased testing.
China cites detection of quarantine pests in canola seed shipments as the reason for its measures affecting the importation of Canadian canola seed.
Canada has repeatedly attempted to obtain information from China regarding the scientific basis for its measures and on the process to restore full market access for Canadian canola seed.
Canada has employed numerous and varied formal and informal mechanisms at its disposal to solicit this information.
To date, these efforts have failed to produce satisfactory results.
For example, because Canada believes that China's measures constrain Canadian exports of canola seed and that the measures do not appear to be based on the relevant international standards, guidelines, or recommendations, Canada requested on 13 June 2019, pursuant to Article 5.8 of the SPS Agreement, that China provide an 'explanation of the reasons' for its measures.
China's response of 12 July 2019 fails to address the majority of questions posed by Canada in its request, including inter alia an explanation of the nature and scope of the enhanced inspections that are being conducted on all imports of Canadian canola seed. ■ What to read next
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