Canada - Withdrawal of Tariff Concessions (Lead and Zinc)

Other titles

Canada Lead and Zinc (Source: GATT Analytical Index)


Third Parties

Products at Issue

Products at issue
Lead and unwrought zinc
Type of product
Product sub-type
Other metal products

Related disputes


Key legal aspects

Legal basis
  • GATT Article XXIII:1
Claims raised
  • GATT Article XXVIII
Defences raised
  • GATT Article XXVIII:3


Type Panel
Chairperson Mr. Ukawa (Japan)
Other members Erik Hagfors (Finland), Mr. Greig (New Zealand)


Type Panel
Legal basis at issue
  • GATT Article XXIII:1
Claims at issue
  • GATT Article XXVIII:2
Defences at issue
  • GATT Article XXVIII:3
No of Pages (total / legal reasoning) 7
  • -
  • No inconsistency found
  • Not in report conclusions


Request for consultations
  • (01/01/1976)
Request for establishment
Adoption of report


Outcome of the proceedings
Report adopted
Additional Info L/4636 (28/04/1978) Panel on Lead and Zinc – Report of the Panel: The Panel based its consideration of the case on Article XXVIII of the GATT which, as "both parties agreed, was the applicable provision, inter alia , for negotiations which are undertaken with the aim of converting specific rates of duty into ad valorem rates. In this connexion, the Panel considered of special importance paragraph 2 of Article XXVIII which provides that the contracting parties concerned "shall endeavour to maintain a general level of reciprocal and mutually advantageous concessions not less favourable to trade than that provided for in this Agreement prior to such negotiations". The Panel noted that as a general principle, Article XXVIII negotiations had in the past been based on the most recent three-year period for which trade statistics were available, for the purpose of determining principal or substantial supplier rights. It was also the understanding of the Panel that in past negotiations a three-year period had been used as an element in the determination of the value of tariff concessions. The Panel noted on the other hand that no clear precedent could be found as regards the selection of a base period for the purpose of converting specific into ad valorem rates of duty. In the absence of agreement between the parties on an appropriate base period, the Panel held that the general principle of using the most recent three-year period should be applied to this case as well in order to allow account to be taken of cyclical movements and random events. The Panel considered that the Community should have bound rates lower than 3.5 per cent, and that Canada was entitled to proceed to a withdrawal of concessions. The Panel, however, was of the view that the withdrawal of concessions should have been less than the equivalent of the total export volume of zinc to the Community as account should have been taken of the rebinding of the Community duty. Also, the right of retaliation should be related to the actual damage suffered by Canada and consequently the withdrawals should have been based on the difference between the ad valorem equivalent of the specific rate calculated on imports from Canada only and the new ad valorem rate. Finally, account should have been taken of the fact that the ad valorem duty on lead had been fixed at a level lower than the incidence in respect of Community imports from Canada. In view of the complexity of assessing the value of a tariff binding, irrespective of the rate of duty involved, the Panel abstained from making any quantitative assessment in this respect. In the interest of maintaining the highest possible general level of concessions the Panel found that the Canadian retaliatory action should be withdrawn; i.e. that the previous Canadian tariff bindings should be re-established as soon as the Community proceeds either to decrease their tariff on zinc or to make tariff concessions on other products of export interest to Canada of an equivalent value.

SCM/W/48 (11/05/1983) Negotiating History of Article 18.9 and the Treatment of Reports of Working Parties and Panels under Article XXIII of the General Agreement - SCM Committee - Factual Note by the Secretariat: Reported as an Article XXIII complaint "Council adopted report on 17 May 1978."