In October 2016, Turkey has filed a WTO complaint against Morocco over anti-dumping measures on hot-rolled steel. In its request for consultations, Turkey alleges that anti-dumping duties imposed by Morocco in September 2014 on imports of Turkish hot-rolled steel are inconsistent with a number of procedural and substantive provisions of the WTO's Anti-Dumping Agreement, the Agreement on Import Licensing Procedures as well as the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994.

Back in September 2014, Morocco has imposed an 11% tax duty against Turkish hot-rolled steel exporters.

Turkey, in return, knocked on WTO’s door with a consultation request.

Turkey’s Allegations against Morocco’s Decision

A Request for Consultations (“Request”) was circulated by the delegation of Turkey to the delegation of Morocco and to the Chairperson of the Dispute Resolution Body under the WTO wherein the following allegations have been put forward:

  • The Moroccan authorities have failed to comply with the rule of 18-month deadline for concluding the investigation according to Article 5.10 of the Anti-Dumping Agreement;
  • The Moroccan authorities “(...) have failed to provide the Turkish exporters with an opportunity to explain the alleged discrepancies, failed to take into account evidence in the record regarding these discrepancies, and applied facts available to determine the dumping margins of the Turkish exporters without using "special circumspection"”;
  • The Moroccan authorities did not disclose essential facts with respect to its decision to use facts available;
  • By way of using registration/licensing requirements, they have refrained from issuing import licenses following the imposition of provisional anti-dumping measures in a way to cause "specific action against dumping".
  • The Moroccan authorities have failed to provide a reasoned and adequate explanation regarding their findings of injury and causation.
  • Lastly, Turkey had preserved its right to raise further legal claims during the course of the consultations.

Objective of Consultations

The bilateral consultations are the first main stage of the dispute settlement system of the WTO. They are a pre-requisite for panel proceeding, giving the parties the opportunity to discuss the matter to find a satisfactory solution without the establishment of a panel. If the consultations fail to resolve the dispute within 60 days, the complainant may request adjudication by a panel.

Current Status of the Consultations

At this stage, as announced in WTO’s webpage, no dispute panel has been established yet and no withdrawal or mutual agreement has been notified.

With no current developments at hand, the dispute with Morocco continues to evolve and develop.

An Example from the Past

Previously, in 2000, Turkey also requested consultations with Egypt concerning an anti-dumping investigation with respect to imports of steel rebar from Turkey. After the consultations have failed to produce a satisfactory solution, Turkey requested adjudication by a panel.

The Panel concluded that Egypt acted inconsistently with its obligations under Articles 3.4 and 6.8 of the Anti-Dumping Agreement. Therefore, the Panel recommended Egypt to bring its definitive anti-dumping measures on imports of steel rebar from Turkey into conformity with the relevant provisions of the Anti-Dumping Agreement. Egypt implemented the recommendations and declared its full compliance.