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Home  >>  Daily News  >>  Philippines News  >>  Trade  >>  Philippines regrets EU move on liquor excise tax issue

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14 December 2009
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Philippines regrets EU move on liquor excise tax issue

Philippines will oppose the request of the European Union (EU) for the creation of a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute-settlement panel that will hear and rule on the complaint of the European Communities that Manila’s excise-tax regime on distilled spirits is discriminative and “in clear breach of international trade rules,” reported local online daily Business Mirror.

The Philippine made known its stand even as the EU is bent on filing formal charges of discriminatory taxation of distilled spirits against the Philippines before the WTO after informal talks in Manila in October bogged down.

EU Trade Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner indicated that the EU considers the excise-tax regime on distilled spirits as a clear breach of international trade rules.

Ambassador Manuel A.J. Teehankee, Philippine permanent representative to the WTO in Geneva, said the Philippines regrets that EU decided to bring this up to the dispute settlement body (DSB) since Manila believes that “this still can be resolved through constructive dialogue.”

“The Philippines regrets that the EU has taken this step despite the continued constructive engagement of the Philippines and explanations provided about the historical context and nondiscriminatory structure of the legal measures subject of the EU complaint.”

“The Philippines will assert all its legal rights and oppose the EU request for the establishment of a panel at the upcoming DSB [dispute settlement body] meeting,” Teehankee told the BusinessMirror.

The EU sent a delegation in Manila in October to try to settle the case amicably with Philippine officials, but no satisfactory solution was reached.

“Unfortunately, WTO consultations have not indicated any clear prospect of a possible remedy to this long-standing tax discrimination against imported spirits. Therefore, the EU has no other option than requesting a WTO panel to rule on this issue,” said Ferrero-Waldner in an EU statement over the weekend.

 


 

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