Brussels, 15 November 2019 (dpa/MIA) – The European Commission referred Colombia to the World Trade Organization (WTO) on Friday for imposing anti-dumping duties on frozen fries from Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands, calling the move illegal.
Bogota slapped the tariffs on EU imports in November last year, arguing that EU-subsidized fries were damaging Colombian producers.
“Despite numerous interventions with Colombia to lift the unjustified measures, we have not received a satisfactory response,” EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said in a statement. “This is why we are now taking the next step by launching a case at the WTO.”
The commission – the European Union’s executive – had announced a month ago that it planned this move, after having been in touch with Bogota dozens of times about the issue.
Brussels hopes to resolve the matter during the WTO’s 60-day consultation period, while noting that it could otherwise ask the global trade watchdog to set up a panel to rule on the dispute.
The Colombian duties are “incompatible with WTO law, both on substance and in terms of the procedure applied to put them in place,” the commission said in a statement.
The tariffs range between 3 and 8 per cent, for a period of two years.
“These unwarranted duties restrict access to the Colombian market, affecting almost 85 per cent of EU exports of frozen fries to this market, worth over 19 million euros (21 million dollars) a year,” the EU executive added.