The World Trade Organisation says Indonesia has made a formal request for consultations with Australia on the issue, which under the Geneva-based organisation’s rules is the first step towards a full-blown trade dispute.
Indonesia is the fifth country to challenge Australia at the WTO over its pioneering legislation which aims to curb smoking by requiring tobacco products to be sold in drab green boxes with the same typeface and graphic images of diseased smokers.
The legislation, passed in 2011, is in force since last December.
The latter trio, all cigar-producers, have cited concerns that the legislation covers all tobacco products, not just cigarettes.
The plaintiff countries maintain that Australia’s law breaches international trade rules and intellectual property rights to brands.
In a case brought by tobacco firms, Australia’s High Court rejected these arguments.
The Geneva-based WTO oversees its 159 member economies’ respect for the rules of global commerce.
WTO’s dispute settlement process, steered by independent trade and legal experts, can last for years.
In the event that the plaintiffs win their case, the WTO’s disputes settlement body will have the power to authorise retaliatory trade measures against Australia if the country fails to fall into line.Source: Australia Network News (ABC) – Indonesia joins WTO fight over Australia tobacco law
- Australia could be first country in world to ban smoking (craighill.net)
- Indonesia battles plain packaging at WTO (bigpondnews.com)
- Indonesia battles plain packaging at WTO (sbs.com.au)
- Indonesia Joins WTO Fight Over Australia Tobacco Law (thejakartaglobe.com)
- Indonesia joins WTO fight over Australia tobacco law (abc.net.au)
- WTO Joined By Indonesia For Fight Over Australia Tobacco Law (medindia.net)
- Indonesia joins WTO fight over Australia tobacco law (channelnewsasia.com)
- Praise Be to Indonesia; the Shame Is All Colin Barnett’s (freetobacconist.wordpress.com)
- List of countries for bilateral talks with Azerbaijan on joining WTO expands (en.trend.az)
- Ambassador: U.S. wants immediate conclusion to Azerbaijan WTO talks (en.trend.az)