Consultations Requested by Austria on the Compatibility of the ECSC Harmonized Tariff with the Waiver Granted to the ECSC

Other titles


Third Parties

Products at Issue

Products at issue
Iron and steel
Type of product
Product sub-type
Steel products

Related disputes


Key legal aspects

Legal basis
  • GATT Article XXII
Claims raised
  • Decision of 10 November 1952: Waiver granted to the European Coal and Steel Community under GATT Article XXV:5(s)
Defences raised
  • n.a.


Other members


Legal basis at issue
  • GATT Article XXII
Claims at issue
Defences at issue
  • n.a.
No of Pages (total / legal reasoning)
  • -
  • -


Request for consultations


Outcome of the proceedings
Consultations held
Additional Info G/35 (07/11/1952) Report of Working Party 4 on the European Coal and Steel Community: Nothing in the GATT prevented the Contracting Parties from granting the necessary waivers to enable the member States of the ECSC to set up a common market in coal and steel products. SR.7/17 (12/11/1952) Summary Record of the Seventeenth Meeting (10/11/1952) Decision of 10 November 1952 concerning the European Coal and Steel Community: G/35 was adopted and a waiver was granted to the European Coal and Steel Community under GATT Article XXV:5(s) to permit its six member States to participate in the ECSC without violating their obligations under the GATT.

L/66 (18/11/1952) European Coal and Steel Community - Presentation of Waiver (10/11/1952)

L/755 (28/11/1957) Report of the Working Party - European Coal and Steel Community: Examined the Fifth Annual Report of the Member States of the European Coal and Steel Community L/686 and L/686/Add.1, and the Note of the Executive Secretary L/715.

SR.12/21 (11/12/1957) CP Twelfth Session - Summary Record of the Twenty-First Meeting (29/11/1957) Working Party Report on European Coal and Steel Community (L/755) Austria: Pursuant to L/755 paragraph 29, Member States should enter into consultations with the Contracting Parties or any interested contracting party before the new rates of duty of the ECSC entered into force. Austria had requested consultations under GATT XXII on the compatibility of the harmonized tariff with the waiver granted to the ECSC by Decision of 10 November 1952 to avoid any prejudicial effects the establishment of the ECSC might have on Austria's traditional export markets for iron and steel products, notably Italy.

L/886 (18/10/1958) Report of the Intersessional Committee - Report submitted to the Contracting Parties on the Work of the Committee between the Twelfth and Thirteenth Sessions.Austria: Harmonization of tariffs of the Member States "did not correspond to the action his Government had understood to be contemplated when the waiver was granted" and the "geographical protection" principle used as a basis for establishing tariffs on goods originating in third countries was not compatible with the terms of the Waiver. "Excessive customs tariffs introduced on this basis, notably in Italy, could cause serious prejudice to Austria's traditional exports." Consultations were held in January 1958, they were not successful. "[T]he application in Italy of a tariff level considerably higher than the Benelux level could seriously prejudice Austria's export opportunities in that market. [...] As its Government would need sufficient time for material to be prepared showing the consequences the harmonization would have on the Austrian economy, the Austrian delegation reserved the right accorded under the terms of Article XXIII to return in due course to the problems referred to either at the Thirteenth Session or later." (Original not underlined)