The EC–Seal Products case stemmed from complaints by Canada and Norway against European Union regulations that effectively banned the importation and marketing of seal products from those countries. The EU said it had responded to European moral outrage at the killing of seals. Canada and Norway challenged the regime under various provisions of the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement and the GATT. This article considers TBT aspects of the Panel and Appellate Body decisions. It discusses issues such as whether there is any bright line to be drawn between legitimate and illegitimate purposes in regulation, the proper legal meaning of a ‘technical regulation’, and the interpretation of TBT 2.1.
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