The dispute settlement body of the World Trade Organization (WTO) has agreed to set up a panel to evaluate import duties imposed by the European Union (EU) on biodiesel imports from Indonesia, the global trade body said on Monday evening (27/11).
Last August, Indonesia asked the WTO to resolve its dispute with the European Union regarding the imposition of import duties on biodiesel imports from Indonesia. However, the consultations carried out by the WTO failed to produce an agreement.
Last October, Indonesia, the world’s largest palm oil producer, asked the WTO to establish a dispute settlement body, which the EU previously did not accept.
“Efforts to appeal this case to the WTO are very strategic to maintain market access for Indonesian biodiesel products in the European Union market which is currently subject to a return import duty of eight percent to 18 percent,” said Director General of Foreign Trade Budi Santoso.
Countervailing duty is an additional levy imposed on imported goods to offset the subsidies given to producers or exporters by the government of the exporting country. “The return import duty is imposed for five years from 10 December 2019 to 10 December 2024,” added Budi.
The Indonesian Biofuel Producers Association (Aprobi) said the import duties burdened Indonesian biodiesel exporters and hoped the WTO panel could immediately start the legal process, the association’s chairman Paulus Tjakrawan told Reuters.
The WTO said late Monday that the United States, Britain, Norway, Russia, Thailand, Singapore, Japan, Canada, China, Argentina and Turkey had indicated they would participate as third parties in the dispute panel’s evaluation process. (ab/uh)