Republic of Korea - Restrictions on Imports of Beef - Complaint by the United States

Other titles

Korea Beef (US) (Source: GATT Analytical Index)


Third Parties

Products at Issue

Products at issue
Type of product
Product sub-type
Meat products

Related disputes


Key legal aspects

Legal basis
  • GATT Article XXIII:1
  • GATT Article XXIII:2
Claims raised
  • GATT Article XI
  • GATT Article XXIII
Defences raised
  • n.a.


Type Panel
Chairperson Tai Soo Chew (Singapore)
Other members Yvonne Choi (Hong Kong), Piotr Freyberg (Poland)


Type Panel
Legal basis at issue
  • GATT Article XXIII:1
  • GATT Article XXIII:2
Claims at issue
  • GATT Article II:1(b)
  • GATT Article X:1
  • GATT Article XI:1
  • GATT Article XIII:3(b)
  • GATT Article XVIII:11
  • GATT Article XXIII
Defences at issue
  • n.a.
No of Pages (total / legal reasoning) 41 (and 6 annex)
  • -
  • -
  • Found not relevant
  • Judicial economy exercised
  • Inconsistency found
  • Judicial economy exercised
  • Inconsistency found
  • No inconsistency found
  • -


Request for consultations
  • (19/02/1988 - 20/02/1988)
Request for establishment
Adoption of report


Outcome of the proceedings
Report adopted
Additional Info L/6503 (24/05/1989) Republic of Korea – Restrictions on Imports of Beef – Complaint by the United States – Report of the Panel: The Panel noted that Korea did not contest that the beef import measures introduced in 1984-1985 were contrary to the provisions of Article XI:1, and did not offer any justification for these measures under Article XI:2. The Panel concluded that the measures were not consistent with the provisions of Article XI and were not taken for balance-of-payments reasons. The Panel examined the further claim that the existence, or use, of producer-controlled import monopolies to restrict imports was inconsistent with the provisions of Articles XI:1 and XVII. As the rules of the General Agreement did not concern the organization or management of import monopolies but only their operations and effects on trade, the Panel concluded that the existence of a producer-controlled monopoly could not in itself be in violation of the General Agreement. The Panel also examined Korea's contention that its import restrictions were justified under the provisions of Article XVIII:B, and concluded that there was a need for the prompt establishment of a timetable for the phasing-out of Korea's balance-of-payments restrictions on beef. The Panel then examined whether the mark-ups imposed on imported beef, in combination with the import duties collected at the bound rate, afforded "protection on the average in excess of the amount of protection provided for" in the Korean Schedule in violation of the provisions of paragraph 4 of Article II. The Panel considered that, in view of the existence of quantitative restrictions, it would be inappropriate to apply Article II:4 of the General Agreement in the present case. The Panel concluded that because of the presence of the quantitative restrictions, the level of the mark-up of the price for imported beef to achieve the minimum bid price or other derived price was not relevant in the present case. The Panel also did not consider it necessary to examine the subsidiary claims that Korea had not met its obligations under Articles X and XIII by not providing proper public notice of the import restrictions. The Panel suggested that the contracting parties recommend that Korea eliminate or otherwise bring into conformity with the provisions of the General Agreement the import measures on beef introduced in 1984/85 and amended in 1988, and that Korea hold consultations with the United States and other interested contracting parties to work out a timetable for the removal of import restrictions on beef justified since 1967 by Korea for balance-of-payments reasons.