WTO: Japan apple import quarantine measures unfair to U.S.
A World Trade Organization dispute settlement panel ruled Japan’s import quarantine measures are unfair to U.S. apple shippers.
Since 1994, Japan has applied quarantine restrictions on U.S. apples to prevent the introduction of fire blight. These restrictions include:
* Prohibitions of apples where fire blight is detected.
* Inspections of apple orchards three times a year.
* Disqualification of any orchard from exporting apples to Japan if fire blight is detected within a 500-meter buffer zone surrounding the orchard.
* Post harvest chlorine treatments of apple exports.
The United States said these measures were “inconsistent” with the 1994 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. A WTO panel was set up in June 2002 to review the case U.S. allegations.
The WTO panel ruled that Japan’s phytosanitary measures against fire blight in imported U.S. apples were “without sufficient scientific evidence” and recommended that Japan bring these measures “into conformity” with its obligations under the GATT’s Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures.