The World Trade Organization (WTO) has ruled in favour of Brazil, which made a case against trade barriers implemented by Indonesia.
The decision, published recently, outlines that Indonesia continues to uphold barriers to protein, even after a 2017 decision, which also supported Brazil’s arguments.
The contention at the WTO goes back to 2015. A total of 18 countries, in addition to the European Union (EU), which followed the process as a third interested party, build a case against Indonesia. In 2017, WTO ruled that a number of Indonesian import regulations violated the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, but the Indonesia didn´t implement the ruling.
"We hope that Indonesia will fulfil its obligations as a WTO member country," emphasizes Santin. Photo: Hans Prinsen
Indonesia still resticting poultry imports
Currently, the new Indonesian ministry of agriculture is still restricting poultry products from overseas. The Indonesian government can use halal certification to limit chicken meat entering domestic markets, as a Muslim country. The WTO ruling in case DS484 states that the use of halal labelling is not a violation of the regulations because certificates are applied without discrimination. Regardless, Indonesia faced 8 complaints at WTO since 2014. Of the 4 disputes resolved by the panel, Indonesia won only 1. If a member does not respect a WTO´s decision, it can suffer different sanctions.
The Brazilian Animal Protein Association (ABPA) celebrated the decision of the international court over the recurrent protectionism imposed by the Asian country. According to the organization, attempts to access this market date back to 2009. “The interest of the various producing and exporting nations in this panel demonstrates the importance of this process, as well as the solid arguments that led Brazil to present the formal questioning at the Organization,” argues Ricardo Santin, president of ABPA.
ABPA, as a representation of the productive sector, followed and supported the action driven by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil, as well Ministries of Agriculture and Economy, and the Brazilian Agency for the Promotion of Exports and Investments (Apex-Brasil). “As a major producer and exporter, Brazil remains open to collaborating with food security in this important market, complementing local production. We hope that Indonesia will fulfil its obligations as a WTO member country,” emphasizes Santin.