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WT/DS438 - Argentina - Measures Affecting the Importation of Goods

WTO dispute settlement case - Launched by the EU

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Dispute settlement
WTO - Case launched by the EU

Summary of the case

  • Complaint by: EU
  • Complaint against: Argentina
  • Third parties: Australia, Canada, China, Ecuador, Guatemala, India, Israel, Japan, Korea, Republic Of, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Taiwan (Chinese Taipei), Thailand, Turkey, United States

Argentina applies various restrictive measures on imports which affect a wide range of products exported from Europe.

The restrictive measures which importers in Argentina are confronted with include Argentina's import licensing regime and notably the procedures to obtain an import licence. Argentina also subjects the import of all goods to a pre-registration and pre-approval regime, called the "Declaración Jurada Anticipada de Importación".

Since February 2012, this pre-approval requirement is applied to all imports. On the basis of these procedures, imports are systematically delayed or refused on non-transparent grounds. In early 2011, more than 600 product types were affected by this licence regime, such as electrical machinery, auto parts and chemical products.

In addition to pre-registration and pre-approval Argentina requires importers to balance imports with exports, to increase the local content of the products they manufacture in Argentina, or not to transfer revenues abroad. This practice is systematic, non-written and non –transparent. Acceptance by importers to undertake this practice appears to be a condition for obtaining the license allowing imports of their goods.

These measures delay or block goods at the border and inflict major losses to industry in the EU and worldwide.

Relevant WTO provision: Articles III:4, VIII, X:1, X:3 and XI:1 of the GATT 1994;; Articles 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 2.2, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4 and 3.5 of the Agreement on Import Licensing Procedures;; Article 2 of the TRIMs Agreement; Article 4.2 of the Agreement on Agriculture;; Article 11 of the Safeguards Agreement.


The EU and Argentina held consultations on 12 and 13 July 2012. The Panel report was circulated on 22 August 2014. The Appellate Body report was circulated on 15 January 2015. The Dispute Settlement Body adopted the Appellate Body report and the panel report, as modified by the Appellate Body report, on 26 January 2015.

On 2 July 2015 Argentina and the EU informed the DSB that they had agreed that the reasonable period of time for Argentina to implement the DSB recommendations and rulings shall be 11 months and 5 days from the 26 January 2015 date of adoption of the DSB recommendations and rulings. Accordingly, the reasonable period of time expires on 31 December 2015.

  • Consultations requested: 25 May 2012


EU submissions and other related documents

Full case details and WTO documents on the WTO website

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