In its report, the Panel agreed on several counts with Norway and Canada that the EU Seal Regime violates WTO law. On other counts, however, the Panel found that the EU had acted consistently with their WTO obligations.
Norway is pleased with the Panel’s findings that the EU’s rules on trade in seal products violate core provisions of the WTO Agreement, particularly the provisions on non-discrimination. Nevertheless, the report of the Panel does not give us all the answers we had hoped for when we chose to initiate dispute settlement proceedings. Of particular concern is the Panel’s failure to recognize the importance of Norway’s rules which ensure high animal welfare standards in the seal hunt. Moreover, the Panel largely failed to take into account Norway’s arguments on sustainable management of marine resources. The Government of Norway has therefore decided to appeal the Panel’s report.