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In the year 1990, a dispute over the trade of salmon was raised between Australia and Canada as Canada complained about the restriction imposed by Australia for importing the salmon (Footer, 2006). This legal assignment will depict the issues of this case along with the related legal aspects and their conclusion that led to a legal solution of this problem.

Case analysis

Australia imposed a ban on importing fresh salmon from the international water through procuring a regulation of quarantine in order to safeguard the fish stock of Australia from any kind of imported diseases. Australia allowed the importing of smoked salmon, canning salmon and non-fresh salmon whereas the half of the import value came from Canada. The Australian salmon was more reliable and healthy for the environmental regulation in the global market. In this aspect, the measure at issues is the legitimacy of the import ban of Australia of fresh salmon from Canada whereas the product at issue is the frozen or fresh Canadian salmon fish. The alternative dispute resolution board of WTO supported Canada as they found no proper evidence to term the salmon of Canada to be unsafe for health (Murrayet al. 2005). The Appellate Body of WTO made another subsequent decision by determining the incapability of the Agreement on The Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures to procure the ban on importing salmon from Canada. Subsequently, the WTO ordered the Australian government to dismiss the ban along with increasing the requirements of quarantine for all kind of fish imports including salmon. The Australian government tried to justify the ban in the health grounds whereas Canada completely nullified that allegation to term the banning of Australia as protectionism for business.

This case was lodged in WTO as per the dispute DS18 as it challenged the SPS agreement and the Uruguay round. Canada urged for consultation as they claimed that the prohibition in salmon importing by Australia with using the quarantine regulation was not at all compatible with the SPS agreement. On the other hand, Canada also showed the article 11 and article 12 of the General Agreement on Tariff and Trade 1994 to prove the discrepancies in the quarantine policy of Australia as a violation of international trade law. In response of the request of Canada to make dispute resolution panel, the board was formed by keeping India, Norway and US as the third parties in the case. As per the article 2.2 of the SPS Agreement, any country needs to prove the fault or hazardous element in consumables and foods to impose a ban on the importing. In this case too, Australia had to provide chemical evidence to prove the fresh salmon as hazardous to health to establish their decision of banning as legitimate as per the law (Pauwelyn, 1999). The dispute resolution panel of WTO did term the banning decision of Australia as definitely inconsistent with the article 2.3 and 5.5 of the SPS Agreement whereas this decision also nullified the accuring benefits for Canada as per the guidelines of the SPS Agreement. On the other hand, Australia did make another appeal by challenging this decision in the Appellate Body of WTO in the circulation of 1998. The reasoning of the article 5.5 and article 2.2 of the SPS agreement were reviewed whereas this body also did find out that the action of Australia was utterly inconsistent with the sections of the agreement articles.

The panel determination was expanded by the body in order to depict that the action of imposing a ban was also a sheer deviation from the articles 5.6 and 2.2 of the SPS agreement. At the end, the Appellate body completely reversed the finding of the legal panel and depicted that the activity of Australia was very much inconsistent with the article 5.6 of the SPS agreement but the body failed to depict whether the measurement of Australia was appropriate with the article 5.6 for lack of sufficient and complete findings of the panel. This decision caused direction for the Australian government to lift the prohibition on the import of salmon fish of Canada along with other quarantine requirements for varied species of fish imports (Peeleret al. 2005). The DSB sanctioned the report of the Appellate Body whereas the Australian government also agreed upon the decision and promised to follow the verdict. On the other hand, Canadian government made another claim for arbitration as per the article 21.3 (c) to the Dispute Settlement Understanding to determine a specific period of time to implement and incorporate the legal changes instructed by the DSB. As per the article 21.3 of the arbitration council of WTO, the reasonable period for implementing the changes in importing policy of Australia was settled as eight months in the year 1999.

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