Assured Life of Tariff Concessions with regard to Article XIX / US - Fur Felt Hats

Other titles

US Fur Felt Hats (Source: GATT Analytical Index)


Third Parties

Products at Issue

Products at issue
Ladies' fur felt hats
Type of product
Product sub-type
Textiles and Apparel

Related disputes


Key legal aspects

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


Type Working Party
Chairperson Cassiers (Belgium)
Other members Representative of Belgium, Representative of Cuba, Representative of Czechoslovakia, Representative of France, Representative of Italy, Representative of Sweden, Representative of United Kingdom, Representative of United States


Type Working Party
Legal basis at issue
  • n.a.
Claims at issue
  • GATT Article XIX:1
  • GATT Article XIX:2
Defences at issue
  • n.a.
No of Pages (total / legal reasoning) 17 (and 1 annex)
  • -
  • No inconsistency found
  • No inconsistency found
  • -


Outcome of the proceedings
Report adopted
Additional Info GATT/CP.5/SR.14 (13/11/1950) CP Fifth Session - Summary Records of the Fourteenth Meeting (10/11/1950) US: "agreed that since it was the first case under Article XIX the manner of handling it would be important, and he also agreed that the principle involved was one of great significance to the Agreement." (Original not underlined.) Czechoslovakia: "thanked the United States delegate for his offer for consultations, which he accepted (...) After the consultations had taken place, the matter could then be brought to the Contracting Parties (...)" The Contracting Parties agreed.

GATT/CP/106 (27/03/1951) Report of the Intersessional Working Party on the Complaint of Czechoslovakia concerning the Withdrawal by the United States of a Concession under the terms of Article XIX. Existence of the conditions required for action under Article XIX: (i) Increase in imports: the volume of imports of women's fur felt hats and hat bodies into the US had increased substantially in 1948-1950 as compared with 1946 and 1947; (ii) The existence of unforeseen developments and the effect of tariff concessions: the degree to which the change in fashion had affected the competitive situation could not reasonably be expected to have been foreseen by the US authorities in 1947; (iii) Existence or threat of a serious injury: there was no convincing evidence that it would be unreasonable to regard the adverse effects on the domestic industry concerned as result of increased imports as amounting to serious injury or a threat thereof; and the facts as a whole / certainly tended to show that some degree of adverse effect had been caused or threatened. Conclusions: There was no conclusive evidence of breach of GATT Article XIX. However, the Working Party pointed out that GATT Article XIX was essentially of an emergency character and should be of limited duration. A government taking action under that Article had to keep the position under review and be prepared to reconsider the matter, as soon as this action was longer necessary to prevent or remedy a serious injury. In the case under review, events which had occurred after it had been decided to raise the duties indicated that it would be desirable for US to follow the trends of consumption, production and imports in the following months with a view to restoring the concession on hat bodies "in whole or in part if and as soon as it becomes clear that its continued complete withdrawal cannot reasonably be maintained to be permissible under Article XIX." (Conclusions arrived at by the members of the Working Party other than the Czechoslovak and the United States representatives.)

GATT/CP.6/SR.19 (24/10/1951) Contracting Parties Sixth Session - Summary Record of the Nineteenth Meeting (22/10/1951) Chairman: "adopting the report carried no implications of approval or disapproval of domestic legislation. The Contracting Parties were simply concerned with a specific case arising under Article XIX."

GATT/CP/137 (01/02/1952) List of Decisions and other actions taken by the Contracting Parties - Explanatory Notes - Reported under Article XIX as relevant provision of the Agreement: United States Withdrawal of Concessions on Women's Headdress. Report published "Sales No. 1951-3"

MTN.GNG/NG9/W/7 (16/09/1987) Group of Negotiations on Goods (GATT) - Negotiating Group on Safeguards. Drafting History of Article XIX and its Place in GATT. Background Note by the Secretariat: Women's fur felt hats and hat bodies: date terminated XXVIII:4 renegotiated June 1956; measure taken: "[v]alue bracketed ad valorem duties replaced by compound rates for products between certain prices. Affected countries / compensation, retaliation: Austria, Czechoslovakia, France, Italy, UK. Compensation to France, Italy at Torquay. SECRET/63 (19/04/1956) Schedule XX - Authority for Renegotiation. SECRET/63/Add.1 (23/05/1956) Negotiations under Article XXVIII- Results of Negotiations US and UK - Modifications under the Declaration of March 10 1955 of concessions in the Schedule of the US initially negotiated with the UK. SECRET/63/Add.2 (11/06/1956) Negotiations under Declaration of 10 March 1955 - Report by US on negotiations under the Declaration of 10 March 1955 with respect to Schedule XX: Agreement reached with UK (SECRET/63/Add.1) and claims of substantial interest: Austria - no objection; France and Italy - takes account of compensation paid at Torquay.