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

Backgrounder

This confirms the understanding reached between Canada and Australia regarding certain measures maintained by the Government of Canada, 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. The Government of Canada will repeal the federal excise duty exemption on wine set out in subsection 135(2) of the federal Excise Act, 2001, no later than two years from the date this understanding takes effect. Canada will provide Australia with an update on implementing this commitment  at six-month intervals, beginning from the date on which this understanding takes effect;
  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 to the federal excise duty exemption listed in Australia’s panel request.
  3. Australia agrees not to institute WTO dispute settlement proceedings against the measures 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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