United States—Import Prohibition of Certain Shrimp and Shrimp Products.
World Trade Organization, Appellate Body, October 12, 1998.
In May 1996, the United States effectively prohibited imports of shrimp and shrimp products from all countries that do not require commercial shrimp trawlers to use turtle-excluder devices (TEDs) to permit endangered species of sea turtles to escape from trawling nets to avoid drowning. In January 1997, India, Malaysia, Pakistan and Thailand requested that the WTO Dispute Settlement Body establish a panel to determine whether this import ban, among other things, violates the prohibition on quantitative restrictions in Article XI of GATT (1994). The United States maintained that its import ban was permitted under the exceptions set forth in paragraphs (b) and (g) of GATT Article XX. Four turtle species that migrate in and out of waters subject to the complaining parties’ jurisdiction are listed as endangered under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora and are covered by the relevant U.S. regulation.