WTO Agrees to Establish Panel to Evaluate EU-Indonesia Biodiesel Import Duty Dispute

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Biodiesel. Photo by: palmoilmagazine.com

PALMOILMAGAZINE, JENEWA – The Dispute Resolution Department of the World Trade Organization (WTO) has opted to establish a panel to assess the import duties imposed by the European Union (EU) on palm oil biodiesel from Indonesia. This decision was reached on Monday, November 27, 2023, following unsuccessful consultations in August 2023, where an agreement between the two parties could not be reached.

In response to the lack of a conclusive outcome during consultations with the EU in October 2023, Indonesia, being the world’s largest palm oil producer, called on the WTO to intervene through its dispute resolution department.

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According to Budi Santoso, the General Director of Foreign Trade at the Ministry of Trade of the Republic of Indonesia, this strategic move is aimed at safeguarding Indonesia’s access to the biodiesel market in the EU, which currently faces countervailing duties of up to 18 percent, as reported by Voice of America.

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Countervailing duty is additional payment on import goods to balance subsidy given by the exporter governments. It would be available for five years that started on 10 December 2019 to 10 December 2024.

Asosiasi Produsen Biofuel Indonesia (Aprobi) claimed that import duty would be a burden for biodiesel exporters from Indonesia. Chairman of Aprobi, Paulus Tjakrawan hoped that the panel in WTO would start the legal process to solve the issue.

WTO announced that some countries, such as, United States of America, England, Norway, Russia, Thailand, Singapore, Japan, Canada, China, Argentina, and Turkey would be taking participation as the third party in the dispute panel. (T2)

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