A WORLD TRADE Organization (WTO) ruling stating that Thailand discriminated against Philippine cigarette exports has become final and officials from both countries are now expected to discuss how to implement needed fiscal and customs reforms.
The Geneva-based WTO on Friday announced that its Dispute Settlement Body — composed of the entire membership — had adopted findings that Thailand had unfairly levied high taxes on cigarette shipments from the Philippines.
A WTO panel ruling against Bangkok was announced last November and subsequently appealed in February this year. Friday’s decision involved recommendations of the trade organization’s Appellate Body.
“With the adoption of the Panel and Appellate Body reports last July 15, Thailand will soon have to signify its intention to comply with the findings and recommendations in the reports,” Trade Undersecretary Adrian S. Cristobal Jr. told BusinessWorld.
“Under the dispute settlement rules, the Philippines and Thailand will have 45 days to come to a mutually agreed ‘reasonable period of time’ for Thailand to bring their measures into conformity,” he added.