The United States-EC Dispute Over Customs Matters: Trade Facilitation, Customs Unions, and the Meaning of WTO Obligations
62 Pages Posted: 20 May 2007 Last revised: 22 Mar 2009
The article addresses a current WTO dispute between the United States and the European Communities on selected customs matters. The article discusses the necessity for a uniform WTO agreement on trade facilitation, as well as analyzes the apparent inconsistency between the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) Article X's mandate for WTO Members to uniformly, impartially, and reasonably administer municipal customs laws and Article XXIV's allowance of individual members of a customs union to substantially apply common commercial regulations and laws in relation to non-members of the customs union. The article concludes that an agreement between WTO Members on the understanding of the relationship between the obligations of Article X and Article XXIV and the conclusion of a bilateral treaty between the United States and EC concerning harmonization of customs procedures and classification is the solution to the problem presented.
Keywords: GATT, WTO, Customs, National customs administration, comparative law, DSU, panel
JEL Classification: K33, K23, K39, K49
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation