Summary of understanding between Australia and Canada regarding certain measures related to the sale of wine maintained by Nova Scotia

Backgrounder

This confirms the understanding reached between Canada and Australia regarding certain measures maintained by the province of Nova Scotia, as outlined in Australia’s request for panel establishment in the World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute Canada - Measures Governing the Sale of Wine (DS537). This understanding comprises the following terms:

  1. With respect to the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation’s Emerging Wine Regions Policy (EWRP):
    • a.  The Government of Nova Scotia commits to ensuring that the EWRP will be terminated and withdrawn in a phased manner no later than by the end of four years from the date this understanding takes effect. The phase-out will begin no later than between years two and three from the date this understanding takes effect.
    • b.     The Government of Canada will report on steps taken towards implementation of the removal of the EWRP at six-month intervals, beginning from the date on which this understanding takes effect.
    • c.     The Government of Nova Scotia will publicly announce, at an appropriate time and in coordination with Australia, that the EWRP will be terminated and withdrawn no later than by the end of four years from the date this understanding takes effect. The Government of Nova Scotia will share with Australia in a timely fashion and on a confidential basis the wording prior to the date the announcement is to be made.
  2. Canada and Australia will promptly and jointly notify the Panel that they have reached a mutually agreed solution with respect to the measures identified in items 1 and request that the Panel refrain from making any findings or recommendations, including in the interim report, with respect the Nova Scotia EWRP listed in Australia’s panel request.
  3. Australia agrees not to institute WTO dispute settlement proceedings against the measure referred to in item 2 unless Canada has failed to carry out the undertakings set out in items 1 above within the time periods specified therein.

This understanding does not alter Australia’s claims with respect to other measures covered by DS537 and is without prejudice to Australia’s right to launch WTO dispute settlement proceedings regarding measures not covered by DS537.

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