BANGKOK, Thai Customs officials plan to hold a meeting on the ruling issued by a World Trade Organisation [WTO] against the country’s regulations on cigarette imports, a spokesperson of Customs Department said.

The WTO dispute panel on Nov 12 released its report that said Thailand has failed to implement the recommendations and rulings of the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) to bring its measures into conformity with its obligations under the Customs Valuation Agreement (CVA) and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).

The ruling can still be appealed.

The issue concerns the valuation of cigarettes imported by Philip Morris Thailand Limited from Philip Morris subsidiaries in the Philippines and Indonesia.

The Thai Customs Department is waiting for its spokesperson, Chaiyuth Kamkoon, who attended a meeting with DSB to return to Thailand before deciding on its next move.

In 2008, Philip Morris Philippines filed a complaint against Thai fiscal and customs measures affecting cigarettes from the Philippines, including customs valuation, excise tax, health tax, value added tax, retail licensing requirements and import guarantees imposed on cigarette importers.

The company claimed that the measures resulted in unfair treatment of imported cigarettes.

The dispute panel ruled in favour of the Philippines in late 2010, that Thailand’s tax treatment on Philippine tobacco exports was contrary to multilateral trading rules.

Source: NAM News Network

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