EU Knocks WTO over Nickel Export Restrictions by Indonesia
EU has requested the establishment of a panel at the World Trade Organization to seek the elimination of unlawful export restrictions imposed by Indonesia on
EU has requested the establishment of a panel at the World Trade Organization to seek the elimination of unlawful export restrictions imposed by Indonesia on raw materials necessary for the production of stainless steel, notably nickel ore and iron ore. The measures the EU is challenging concern an export ban on nickel ore and domestic processing requirements on nickel ore and iron ore. These measures illegally restrict access for EU steel producers to raw materials needed for stainless steel production. In its panel request, the EU is challenging Indonesia's long-standing and varying restrictions of nickel ore exports. Since January 2020, Indonesia has introduced a full ban on exports of nickel ore, reserving it for Indonesian stainless steel production.
Indonesia also applies domestic processing requirements on nickel ore and iron ore, which oblige businesses to subject their raw materials to certain processing or purification operations in Indonesia prior to exporting them. This further unduly restricts exports of unprocessed raw materials. These measures are clearly inconsistent with the prohibition of export restrictions in Article XI:1 of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994.
The EU will at the next meeting of the WTO Dispute Settlement Body on 25 January 2021 request the establishment of a panel to rule on the legality of the Indonesian measures at hand. Following the establishment of the panel, the EU will proceed to request the composition of the panel. Once the panel has been composed, the panel will present a timetable for the case.