Thursday, July 19, 2012
Yesterday, the Dominican Republic notified the World Trade Organization (WTO) Secretariat of a request for consultations with Australia “on certain measures concerning trademarks, geographical indications and other plain packaging requirements applicable to tobacco products and packaging” (WT/DS441/1). Australia's laws are said to violate several provisions of the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPs) Agreement, the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). If consultations do not resolve the matter within 60 days, the DR may request the establishment of a panel.
In March and April 2012, Ukraine and Honduras requested consultations with Australia on this same issue (DS434 and DS435 respectively). Several other countries have requested to join the consultations, which are ongoing.