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US poultry case: India challenges WTO panel's ruling

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Geneva (Jan. 27, 2015): India has challenged a WTO panel's ruling that the country's ban on American poultry product imports was inconsistent with global norms.

India has appealed to the Dispute Settlement Board of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

"WTO Secretariat received ... a notice by India announcing its decision to appeal certain issues of law and legal interpretation in the panel report in the case ....," the WTO has said.

A senior government official also said India has approached the WTO's appellate authority against the order of the dispute panel on the poultry issue.

India had banned imports of various agriculture products from the US in 2007 as a precautionary measure to prevent outbreaks of Avian Influenza.

In March 2012, the US had dragged India to the WTO against the ban on imports of US farm products, including poultry meat and eggs.

In its ruling on October 14 last year, the WTO panel had said that India's measures are "arbitrarily and unjustifiably discriminate between Members where identical or similar conditions prevail and are applied in a manner which constitutes a disguised restriction on international trade".

India is one of the potential markets for the US which is one of the world's largest exporters of chicken meat. According to a report, India's broiler meat consumption is increasing and may touch 3.72 million tonnes in 2014 from 3.45 million tonnes in 2013.

The US had contended that India's Avian Influenza measures amounted to an import prohibition that was not based on the relevant international standard or on a scientific risk assessment.

India has claimed that the panel committed several legal errors in its interpretation and application of numerous articles of the SPS agreement.

Parties to a dispute can appeal a panel's ruling. Appeals have to be based on points of law, such as legal interpretation. They, however, cannot re-open factual findings made by the panel.