Published online by Cambridge University Press: 16 September 2015
The facts of EC – Sardines are simple enough. A European Communities (EC) regulation stipulated that the designation Sardines could be used on preserved fish only for the genus Sardina pilchardus. The broad rationale claimed for this measure was to prevent consumer confusion. Allegedly European consumers associated the appellation “Sardines” with the pilchardus genus. Subsequently the Codex Alimentarius Commission set an international standard which effectively would allow other types of fish e.g. the genus Sardinops sagax, to use the word Sardine as part of its packaging designation. Peru, which exports Sardinops to Europe could not, under the Community regulation, use the designation Sardines in any shape or manner even though this prohibition would be contrary to the international standard set by the Codex Commission.
This study discusses the WTO Dispute Settlement dispute European Communities – Trade Descriptions of Sardines (WT/DS231/R, 29 May 2002 and WT/DS231/AB/R, 26 November 2002). We are grateful for helpful discussions with Gene Grossman and Petros C. Mavroidis and the other Reporters in the project, as well as for the many useful comments provided by participants in the ALI Invitational Conference in February 2004.
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