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External Trade 1 The Trade Barriers Regulation (TBR): an instrument aimed at opening markets for EU exporters.

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Presentation on theme: "External Trade 1 The Trade Barriers Regulation (TBR): an instrument aimed at opening markets for EU exporters."— Presentation transcript:

1 External Trade 1 The Trade Barriers Regulation (TBR): an instrument aimed at opening markets for EU exporters

2 External Trade 2 The TBR is: a.An instrument at the service of EU enterprises b.To remove obstacles to trade in third country markets c.And to exert pressure on the third country by lodging a complaint with the Commission which investigates the case and makes a public report. d.A successful instrument: examples of recent cases

3 External Trade 3 An instrument at the service of EU enterprises In case of trade barriers with an effect on exports, a complaint can be lodged by: one or more EU company/ies A trade association An EU Member State Examples: Volkswagen - Columbia, discriminatory VAT Scotch Whisky Association - Uruguay, tax discrimination

4 External Trade 4 An instrument at the service of EU enterprises In case of trade barriers with an effect on the EU market, a complaint can be lodged by: The Community Industry or an EU Member State. So far, no TBR case has fallen in that category. Distortions on the EU market are normally best addressed through the antidumping and countervailing duty instruments.

5 External Trade 5 To remove obstacles to trade in third country markets Examples of trade barriers: Tax discrimination and other discriminatory rules, incl. prepayment of taxes, minimum or maximum price regulations, internal regulations of sale and transport of goods Burdensome customs formalities, incl. valuation of goods, fees connected with import/export

6 External Trade 6 To remove obstacles to trade in third country markets Examples of trade barriers: Restrictions on trade in services, incl. discrimination and market access limitations Violation of intellectual property rights, incl. lack of data protection/exclusivity for pharmaceuticals, lack of protection of geographical indications for food, wine and spirits … Technical regulations, sanitary and phytosanitary measures Subsidies to industry in the third market

7 External Trade 7 To remove obstacles to trade in third country markets Complaints can be addressed only at obstacles to trade which are contrary to international obligations (mainly WTO rules). A complaint in order to be considered admissible «must contain sufficient evidence of the obstacle to trade and of the injury or adverse trade effects resulting therefrom». The complainant will therefore have to evidence: 1.The existence of the measure 2.The evidence that the measure is contrary to international obligations (right of action) 3.The evidence of adverse trade affect or injury caused by the measure.

8 External Trade 8 To Exert pressure on the third country By lodging an admissible complaint published in the OJ By Commission negotiating with the authorities during the investigation By Commission issuing a report to the Member States (and on the Internet) By Commission threatening to initiate dispute settlement proceedings (notably in the context of the WTO)

9 External Trade 9 Success Stories Uruguay/Whisky case Negotiated solution found during the investigation. The complaint was lodged in September 2004 and the trade barriers removed in July Trade barrier: Tax discrimination excluding EU whisky from the lowest taxation bracket This particular tax discrimination was introduced in 2000, but discrimination against all EU wines and spirits existed since the 1990s. The Commission sought the removal of this trade barrier already in the course of the 90s through negotiations. But the TBR complaint led to a decisive breakthrough.

10 External Trade 10 Success stories Turkey/Pharmaceuticals case: Obstacles to trade incl. lack of transparency, discriminatory application of pharmaceutical imports, discrimination in pricing and pharmaceutical marketing approvals procedures The complaint was lodged in October The Turkish authorities adopted a new Regulation for licensing of pharmaceuticals in January 2005 Achievement: improved conditions on data exclusivity.

11 External Trade 11 Contact For an initial assessment of your case, you may contact the Market Access Unit of DG Trade. For more information on the TBR, please consult our website: /respectrules/tbr/index_en.htm Or call us :


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