Pressemelding | Dato: 31.03.2005
Consultations on EC safeguard measures on Salmon 30 March failed to settle the dispute. Norway will hence continue to pursue the matter in the WTO. (31.03)
Consultations held in the WTO with European Communities 30 March 2005 - Definitive Safeguard Measure on Salmon
For nearly 15 years, there has been some form of restriction - or threats of restrictions - on the free flow of Norwegian farmed salmon into the EU market. The restrictive measures ended in May 2003, but only 9 months later, the Commission initiated a safeguard investigation. On 4 February 2005, the European Commission imposed safeguard measures on imports into the EU of farmed salmon.
Norway believes that the EC safeguard measures are inconsistent with the GATT 1994 and the WTO Agreement on Safeguards, and has therefore initiated dispute settlement proceedings under the WTO rules. On 30 March 2005, consultations were held in the WTO as part of these proceedings. These consultations failed to settle the dispute.
Norway believes that the Commission on most key factual issues has relied on assumptions and assertions that do not meet the demanding standards required by the WTO. We have therefore asked for further clarifications and information about the factual basis for the measures imposed by the Commission.
From 1989 to the present, the production of salmon by the Community industry has increased some 600 per cent. The majority of Community producers are ready to accept normal market conditions. However, a small minority of inefficient, high-cost Community producers apparently prefer to rely on continued protective trade measures instead of adjusting to market realities.
In maintaining protective trade measures, the Community risks loss of jobs and business for the processing industry that depends on imported farmed salmon. Such measures are also detrimental to the European consumers. Norway has repeatedly maintained that protective trade measures will harm normal trade flows, a well-functioning market and sound competition in general.
The Norwegian salmon farming industry is efficient and competitive, and does not receive any government subsidies. While still willing to discuss a mutually satisfactory solution in accordance with WTO rules, Norway will – in the absence of such a solution - continue to pursue the matter in the WTO.