WTO upholds PH win in cigarette tax dispute

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 19 2011 05:56 PM | Updated as of Jul 20 2011 01:56 AM

MANILA, Philippines - A World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling favoring the Philippines over Thailand in a cigarette tax dispute has become final, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Tuesday.

Citing a report from the Philippine mission to WTO in Geneva, the DFA said the WTO's Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) formally adopted on July 15 earlier findings that Thailand violated trade rules by slapping higher taxes on cigarette imports from the Philippines.

The WTO Panel ruled against Thailand in a November 12, 2010 report, which was later affirmed by the Appellate Body.

"The adoption of the Panel and Appellate Body reports by the DSB was the final step in these dispute settlement proceedings. Thailand will now have 30 days to inform the DSB of its intentions in respect of implementation of the recommendations and rulings," DFA Secretary Albert del Rosario said in a statement posted on the agency's website.

The dispute started in 2006 when the Philippines complained that Thailand was imposing a series of higher customs values for Philippine-made cigarettes to protect the latter's sole cigarette manufacturer, Thai Tobacco Monopoly.

Customs values are the basis for calculating customs duties and other taxes.