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Taxes on Distilled Spirits


Key Facts

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Short Title: Philippines – Taxes on Distilled Spirits
Respondent: Phillippines
Third Parties: Colombia; Mexico; China; Chinese Taipei; European Union; India; Australia; Thailand;
Complaintant(s): United States;
Dispute Number: DS403
Link to Dispute Site: http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/dispu_e/cases_e/ds403_e.htm
Dispute Status: Concluded


On 14 January 2010, the United States requested consultations with the Philippines with respect to the taxation of imported distilled spirits by the Philippines.  The United States considers that the Philippines' taxes on distilled spirits discriminate against imported distilled spirits by taxing them at a substantially higher rate than domestic spirits.  The United States cites a number of specific measures in its request.

The United States considers that these measures are inconsistent with Article III:2 of the GATT 1994.

On 27 January 2010, the European Union requested to join the consultations.  Subsequently, the Philippines informed the DSB that it had accepted the request of the European Union to join the consultations.

On 26 March 2010, the United States requested the establishment of a panel.  At its meeting on 8 April 2010, the DSB deferred the establishment of a panel.

At its meeting on 20 April 2010, the DSB established a panel and agreed that as provided in Article 9.1 of the DSU in respect of multiple complainants, the panel established on 19 January 2010 to examine the complaint by the European Union (DS396), would also examine the US complaint.  Australia, China, the European Union, India, Mexico and Chinese Taipei reserved their third party rights.  Subsequently, Colombia reserved its third party rights. On 25 June 2010, the European Union and the United States requested the Director‑General to compose the panel.  On 5 July 2010, the Director-General composed the panel.

The submissions of the European Union relating to this dispute may be obtained here.

Panel Proceedings
Brief Date Brief Description
10/11/2011 Appellee Submission of the United States
03/03/2011 U.S. Comments on the Philippines’ Responses to the Second Set of Panel Questions
02/24/2011 Response of the United States to the Second Set of Panel Questions
02/17/2011 Executive Summary of the Oral Statement of the United States to the Second Panel Meeting
02/09/2011 Oral Statement of the United States to the Second Panel Meeting
01/12/2011 Executive Summary of the Second Written Submission of the United States
12/22/2010 Second Written Submission of the United States
12/08/2010 Response of the United States to the First Set of Panel Questions
11/24/2010 Executive Summary of the Opening Statement of the United States at the First Panel Meeting
11/18/2010 Closing Statement of the United States at the First Panel Meeting
11/17/2010 Opening Statement of the United States at the First Panel Meeting
10/21/2010 Non-Confidential Summary of the First Written Submission of the Philippines
09/08/2010 Executive Summary of the First Written Submission of the United States
09/02/2010 First Written Submission of the United States
Appeal Proceedings
Brief Date Brief Description
10/25/2011 Opening Statement of the United States
10/11/2011 Appellee Submission of the United States