On August 15, 2018 the WTO Appellate Body circulated its report for the dispute between Indonesia and Chinese Taipei and Vietnam in DS 490/496 (Indonesia – Safeguard on Certain Iron or Steel Products).
Indonesia imposed safeguard measure on imports of non alloy iron or steel products of a width 600mm or more, plated or coated with aluminum-zinc, containing carbon less than 0.6%, and thickness up to 0.7mm, falling under the tariff post of ex. 7210.61.11.00 through PMK 137.1/PMK.011/2014 (PMK 137).
In essence, the Appellate Body upheld the Panel’s finding that PMK 137 is not a safeguard measure, and therefore the Appellate Body reject 26 out of 27 claims raised by Chinese Taipei and Vietnam.
This finding means that PMK 137 does not violate any provision under the Agreement on Safeguard nor Article XIX of the GATT 1994. The Appellate Body only notes that the list of 120 developing countries excluded from the duty violates the MFN principle under Article I:1 of the GATT 1994.
Panel and the Appellate Body also rejected Chinese Taipei and Vietnam’s request that the only way Indonesia can bring its measure into conformity is by revoking PMK 137 and its extension. Moreover, the Appellate Body also rejected their request to examine the extension of PMK 137. Therefore, since the Appellate Body finds that the only reason PMK 137 violates the WTO law is because it provides exclusion to some countries, by revoking the such list under PMK 137, Indonesia can bring its measure into conformity with the WTO law.