Tariff dispute: Colombia wins the case

The WTO decided that Colombia has complied with a resolution that required it to remove tariffs and restrictions on imports of textiles, clothing and footwear from the Libre de Colón zone in Panama.

Friday, October 5, 2018

The conflict arose after a complaint by Panama after Colombia imposed a tariff on textiles and footwear from the Libre de Colón Zone. The dispute began more than five years ago.

After multiple disputes, the Central American country requested the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2017 to establish a compliance mechanism to verify whether or not the South American country has complied with the ruling, which ordered it to abolish tariffs on textile and footwear imports from Panama.

See Tariff dispute history.

Regarding the long-standing tariff dispute between the two countries, the Group ruled that "... Panama has not demonstrated that Colombia has failed to act inconsistently with its obligations under the WTO Agreement, the Panel considers that no recommendation is necessary under the provisions...".

According to the Special Group's conclusions "... Colombia has implemented the OSD's recommendations and rulings in Colombia - Measures Concerning the Imports of Textiles, Clothing and Footwear - to comply with its obligations under the WTO Agreement."

See conclusions and full report.

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Tariff Conflict: Panama Appeals WTO Judgment

November 2018

Panama appealed against the first instance ruling, which concluded that Colombia's restrictive customs control measures do not violate WTO rules.

From the statement of the Ministry of Commerce and Industries of Panama:

November 20th, 2018. The Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MICI) on behalf of the Government of Panama filed an appeal against the first instance ruling that found that the restrictive customs control measures implemented by Colombia do not infringe the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO). In this appeal, Panama claims errors in the interpretation of the rules on import restrictions and customs valuation that were argued in Colombia's request for review of its compliance with the judgments in Panama's favor.

Tariff Conflict between Panama and Colombia Continues

June 2017

The WTO has established a new compliance panel to verify whether or not the South American country has complied with the ruling mandating it to withdraw the tariff on imports of textiles and footwear from Panama.

The decision of the Dispute Settlement Body of the World Trade Organization (WTO) was made at the request of the Panamanian government, which requested a panel be established for a second time, arguing that the South American country continues to impose restrictions on the importation of the products in question "... and that it wanted the trade dispute to be addressed within the framework of the WTO."

Panama: Colombia Maintains Special Tariff Collection

April 2016

An extension has been granted, until July 30, on the charging of a tariff imposed by Colombia on footwear, textiles and clothing coming from the Colon Free Zone.  

Colombia's decision to extend the collection of mixed tariffs on imports of footwear, textiles and clothing from the Colon Free Zone until 30 July, has caused opposition among Panamanian businessmen.

WTO Rules in Favor of Panama Over Colombian Tariffs

November 2015

Colombia's decision to establish mixed tariffs on imports of textiles and footwear from Panama violates the commitments made by the South American country with the organization.

Putting an end to a conflict that has affected the performance of the Colon Free Zone for more than two years, the World Trade Organization (WTO) announced that it has ruled in favor of Panama, concluding that the tariffs imposed by Colombia on the entry of footwear and textiles from Panama contradict the principles of the organization.