August 22, 2016 / 1:51 PM / a year ago

EU requests WTO panel over spirits dispute with Colombia

BRUSSELS, Aug 22 (Reuters) - The European Union requested the establishment of a World Trade Organization panel to rule on a dispute with Colombia over what Brussels says are discriminatory measures against Europe's spirit drinks, the European Commission said on Monday.

The request will be discussed at a meeting of the WTO Dispute Settlement Body on Sept. 2, the Commission said. If Colombia does not agree to the establishment of a panel the EU may make a second request which cannot be blocked.

"EU spirits are subject to higher taxes and local charges than those applied to local brands," the Commission said in a statement. "This is in contravention of Colombia's non-discrimination obligations under WTO rules." (Reporting by Julia Fioretti; Editing by Alastair Macdonald)

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