Norway decided in January to appeal parts of the WTO dispute settlement Panel’s report in the seals dispute. Canada and the EU, the other Parties to the dispute, have also appealed the Panel’s report. The Appellate Body will consider several fundamental issues relating to core provisions in the WTO Agreement. The appeal includes the question of whether the EU’s Regulation on trade in seals products is necessary to protect public morals.
In Norway’s opening statement, which was held this morning, Norway refuted the EU’s arguments in the appeal. Norway’s views on the questions on appeal will be further elaborated before the Appellate Body during the three-day hearing. In addition to the Parties, several WTO-Members participate in the hearing as third parties. Upon a request from the Parties, the hearing is also open to public observation.
The Appellate Body’s report is expected by the end of April or beginning of May.
More information on the seals dispute may be found here.