French Special Temporary Compensation Tax on Imports

Other titles

France Compensation Tax (Source: GATT Analytical Index)
French Special Import Taxes


Third Parties

Products at Issue

Products at issue
Type of product
Not specified
Product sub-type

Related disputes


Key legal aspects

Legal basis
  • GATT Article XXIII:2
Claims raised
  • GATT Article I
  • GATT Article II:1(b)
  • GATT Article XII:4(b) first sentence second part
  • GATT Article XV
Defences raised
  • GATT Article XII


Type Contracting Parties, Working Party
Chairperson L. Cozzi (Italy)
Other members Representative of France, Representative of Italy


Type Contracting Parties, Working Party
Legal basis at issue
  • GATT Article XXIII:2
Claims at issue
  • GATT Article I
  • GATT Article II:1(b)
  • GATT Article XII:4(b) first sentence second part
  • GATT Article XV
Defences at issue
  • GATT Article XII
No of Pages (total / legal reasoning) 11
  • -
  • Inconsistency found
  • Inconsistency found
  • Not in report conclusions
  • Not in report conclusions
  • Not in report conclusions


Request for consultations
  • (05/07/1957)
Adoption of report


Outcome of the proceedings
Report adopted
Additional Info L/302 (06/01/1955) Draft Decision submitted by the Chairman: This matter concerned a special temporary compensation tax imposed by France on certain goods imported into its customs territory. The decision concludes that the tax increased the incidence of customs charges in excess of maximum rates bound under GATT Article II, and the application of the tax introduced an increase in the incidence of preferences in excess of the maximum margins permissible under GATT Article I.

SR.9/29 (21/01/1955) Contracting Parties Ninth Session - Summary Record of the Twenty-Ninth Meeting (17/01/1955) Contracting Parties adopted the decision.

L/366 (25/06/1955) Report by the French Government under the Decision of 17 January 1955 (24/06/1955) France: Decision of 17/01/1955 of the Contracting Parties requested France "to report to the Intersessional Committee on the measures adopted by it to implement its undertaking to remove as soon as possible the special temporary compensation tax introduced by decree of 17 April 1954, No. 54-438. (...) [France] firmly intends to reach the objectives fixed in its statement, which was noted by the Contracting Parties in their Decision of 17 January, and to implement its undertaking and the recommendation by the Contracting Parties. It is currently engaged in considering appropriate means for further reducing the scope of the special compensation tax."

IC/SR.19 (29/06/1955) Intersessional Committee Summary Record (23, 24, 25/06/1955): The Committee "expressed gratification with the action taken to reduce the scope of the tax (...) [and] called upon the French Government to make further efforts to fullfil the undertakings referred to it in the Decision of 17 January 1955 and to submit a report to the Contracting Parties on the steps taken (...)"

L/406 (13/09/1955), L/406/Corr.1 (21/09/1955) Second Report by the French Government under the Decision of 17 January 1955 - France: "This report includes: 1. a statement of circumstances and reasons which led to the introduction of the special contemporary compensation tax; 2. indications relating to the measures taken towards the removal or the reduction of the tax; 3. information on the basis of which the incidence of the tax on French imports can be assessed; 4. details concerning the measures envisaged for the gradual elimination of the tax."

L/406/Add.1 (19/09/1955), L/406/Add.2 (21/09/1955), L/406/Add.3 (04/10/1955), L/406/Add.4 (06/10/1955) Annexes to document L/406.

L/412 (28/09/1955) Report by the Intersessional Committee.

L/406/Add.5 (11/11/1955) Second Report by the French Government under the Decision of 17 January 1955 - Addendum: "the Special Temporary Compensation tax on about 90 items has been abolished, and on some 260 items has been reduced (...)"

SR.10/16 (07/12/1955) Contracting Parties Tenth Session - Summary Record of the Sixteenth Meeting (22/11/1955) Chairman: "general view that a working party would not be useful at this time but that the secretariat should be instructed to prepare a resolution for approval at a later meeting noting the reductions and eliminations of the tax with satisfaction although disappointed that progress had not been more rapid, reaffirming the Decision of 17 January and inviting the French Government to submit a report before 1 June 1956 for consideration by the Intersessional Committee."

L/585 (12/11/1956) Draft Decision proposed by the Chairman: France to continue to report on developments and to participate in consultations.

SR.11/15 (17/11/1956) Contracting Parties Eleventh Session - Summary Record of the Fifteenth Meeting (13/11/1956) CP decided "to refer consideration of the matter".

L/622 (16/04/1957) Modifications introduced in March 1957 (23/03/1957)

L/643 (27/06/1957) Modifications introduced on 17 June 1957 (19/06/1957)

IC/SR.32 (05/07/1957) Intersessional Committee Summary Record (28/06/1957) Committee: took note of L/643, considered them substantial intensification of France's restrictions imposed for Balance of Payment reasons and invited France to enter into consultations under GATT Article XII:4(b) first sentence second part; established a working party and its terms of reference; invited the IMF to consult with the Contracting Parties on France's consultations pursuant to GATT Article XV.

L/657 (08/08/1957) Interim Report of the Working Party on the Consultation with France: "The Working Party recommends that the consultation with France which has been initiated should not be considered as having been concluded and that it should reconvene in the autumn of this year, when fuller documentation is at its disposal. The Working Party would then complete the consultation and submit a final report."

L/671 (09/09/1957) Report by the French Government under the Decision of 16 November 1956 (19/08/1956) Compensation tax was abolished on 10/08/1957 and replaced by other measures.

L/708 (17/10/1957) Report of the Intersessional Committee: The Committee noted that the compensation tax had been eliminated and replaced by new measures as reported by France. The Committee accordingly agreed that this matter " could be considered as settled and that any problems in connexion with the new measures might appropriately be raised in the consultation with France under Article XII:4(b) which will take during the Twelfth Session."

SR.12/5 (29/10/1957) CP Twelfth Session - Summary Record of the Fifth Meeting (24/10/1957) The Contracting Parties adopted the recommendation by the Intersessional Committee (L/708 and Sec. I(e)).

SCM/W/48 (11/01/1983) SCM Committee - Negotiating History of Article 18:9 and the Treatment of Reports of Working Parties and Panels under Article XXIII of the General Agreement. Dispute listed under GATT Article XXIII complaints: "Decisions urging removal of tax. Measure was partially removed as first step, abolished August 1957, and replaced by other measures. The matter was considered as settled."