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Japan – Measures Affecting the Importation of Apples (AB-2003-4): One Bad Apple? (DS245/AB/R): A Comment

  • Damien J. Neven (a1) and Joseph H.H. Weiler (a2)
Abstract

This chapter reviews the decision by the Appellate Body (AB) regarding measures affecting the importation of apples in Japan. Section 2 of the chapter presents some background facts. Section 3 considers the Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) agreement and emphasizes the fact that it imposes a discipline on risk-reducing measures even in the absence of discrimination or protectionism. Section 4 discusses how the evaluation of risk-reducing measures can be undertaken in the context of the SPS agreement. Our discussion focuses on two issues: the scope of the mandate given to the adjudicators and the standard of review that they should apply. We emphasize the difficulty of the task faced by the adjudicators, namely to distinguish between determining the level of risk that a country will find optimal to support (which cannot be challenged) and determining whether risk-reducing measures are necessary to achieve the chosen level of risk. We further observe that the common methodology used by Panels, namely to evaluate the existence of risk in the absence of risk-reducing measures, has limited applicability.

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World Trade Review
  • ISSN: 1474-7456
  • EISSN: 1475-3138
  • URL: /core/journals/world-trade-review
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