French Stamp Tax on Imports

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France Stamp Tax


Third Parties

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Products at issue
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Not specified
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Related disputes


Key legal aspects

Legal basis
  • n.a.
Claims raised
  • GATT Article II
  • GATT Article VIII
  • Schedule XI
Defences raised
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No of Pages (total / legal reasoning)
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Request for consultations
Mutually agreed solution


Outcome of the proceedings
Consultations held, mutually agreed solution
Additional Info L/410 (26/09/1955) Communication from the US requesting inclusion of the item in the Contracting Parties Session agenda: "this increase of the stamp tax by the French Government is in addition to the increase which was considered at the Ninth Session at the request of the United States (L/245 and SR.9/28)."SR.10/5 (07/11/1955) Contracting Parties Tenth Session - Summary Record of the Fifth Meeting (01/11/1955) France: "did not deny that the new increase (...) was in contradiction to the undertakings under the Agreement (...) provisional and exceptional (...) [A]lthough a contravention of the Agreement was involved, the scope was relatively restricted. (...) It was the intention of his Government to resume as soon as possible normal financial methods for the agricultural family allowances, but he could not in the present circumstances indicate when this would occur." The Contracting Parties "took note of the undertaking of the French Government to cancel the measure as soon as practicable and invited the French Government to submit a report before the next Session regarding action taken to remove the measure which was inconsistent with the obligation of the French Government under the General Agreement." (Original underlined.)

L/569 (26/10/1956) Report submitted by the Government of France informed the Contracting Parties "that the draft Finance Act for 1957, currently before Parliament, provides for the reduction of the rate of the stamp tax from 3 per cent to 2 per cent. This reduction is in accordance with France's obligations under the General Agreement."

SR.11/12 (19/11/1956) Contracting Parties Eleventh Session - Summary Record of the Twelfth Meeting(05/1171956) The Contracting Parties "took note of the French Government's intentions to reduce the tax and asked it to inform the Contracting Parties when the measure in question had been approved."

L/720 (23/10/1957) Report submitted by the Government of France: "the bill which was finally passed in an amended form which maintains the stamp tax at the rate of 3 per cent, notwithstanding the Government's efforts to reinstate this provision in the text. (...) [P]roposes to include a special article in the appropriation bill for 1958 to reduce the stamp tax to 2 per cent."

SR.12/5 (29/10/1957) Contracting Parties Twelfth Session - Summary Record of the Fifth Meeting (24/10/1957) The Contracting Parties "took note of the French Government's intention to reduce the tax [in L/720] and asked that the contracting parties be informed when the measure in question has been approved."

L/1412 (30/01/1961) Report submitted by the Government of France (19/01/1961): "the reduction has become effective as from January 1 1961 (...)"

C/M/4 (14/03/1961) Minutes of Council Meeting (22/02/1961-02/03/1961) "The Council took note of, and welcomed, the French Government's announcement in document L/1412." (Original underlined.)

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 XXIII complaints: "French undertaking to cancel increase as soon as possible. Stamp tax reduced to 2 per cent as from 1 January 1961."