Cerame-Unie welcomes the adoption and entry into force of Regulation (EU) 2021/167 amending Regulation (EU) 654/2014 concerning the exercise of the Union’s rights for the application and enforcement of international trade rules (‘Trade Enforcement Regulation’).
The amended Trade Enforcement Regulation enables the EU to impose countermeasures in absence of a final ruling from the WTO Appellate Body. The new rules were designed by the Commission to address the current impasse in the WTO's Dispute Settlement Body as well as promoting enforcement of dispute settlement provisions under international agreements.
International trade is a key element for the European Ceramic Industry, exporting around 1/3 of production outside of the European Union. In recent years, increasing protectionist trends worldwide have resulted in new tariff and non-tariff barriers in third countries for EU ceramic producers. Furthermore, the blockage of the WTO Appellate Body has weakened the enforcement capacity of global institutions, highlighting the necessity to modernise the EU’s toolbox to ensure compliance with international trade laws.
In this context, Cerame-Unie supports the extension of the scope of the amended Regulation and the possibility to impose countermeasures amid the blockage of the WTO Appellate Body. The EU Ceramic Industry underlines the importance of enforcing international trade rules and ensuring a fair and rules-based access to third countries’ markets for European exporters.