OLIVE OIL, PERU WILL REMOVE DUTIES AGAINST SPANISH AND ITALIAN PRODUCERS

INDECOPI, the Peruvian competent authority in respect of anti-dumping and anti-subsidy matters, has made public its decision to remove countervailing duties on Spanish and Italian olive oil, following the appeal case brought by the EU, Spain and Italy. The Appeal Court at INDECOPI has revoked the resolution imposing duties on Spanish and Italian olive oil, in place since December 2010, having regard to the WTO Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures. In particular, the Court found that the investigation into allegedly subsidised imports of olive oil that was carried out at the time of imposing the countervailing duties was not based on a positive evidence of damage to the Peruvian market.Commissioner Cioloş stated that he welcomes the judgment of the Court, which comes just some days after the entry into force of our Free Trade Agreement. He also indicated that he expects Peru to abolish the duties as quickly as possible. The EU signed a Free Trade Agreement with Peru and Colombia on June 26th 2012, ratified by the European Parliament on 10th December. The Agreement, which is precisely meant to strengthen the trade relations between those partners, entered into force the 1st March. This decision is a further positive sign of that strengthened relationship. Background: In 2009, some Peruvian olive oil producers requested INDECOPI (Peru's anti-subsidy agency) to launch an investigation to assess the possibility of applying countervailing duties upon imports of Spanish and Italian olive oil. This investigation started in July 2009 and concluded on December 5th 2010 when INDECOPI's Commission announced the immediate application of countervailing duties (0,95 € / kilo and 1,05 € / kilo for respectively Spanish and Italian olive oil). The EU introduced an appeal to this decision on March 4th 2011, on which the INDECOPI Court has now issued its final positive verdict. In its ruling the Court has made a valuable effort to understand the European Common Agriculture Policy regarding the support the EU gives to operator organisations in the olive sector, but still some misunderstandings can be found in the legal reasoning for the final Resolution. The EU considers this support as fully consistent with WTO rules.

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