[Ip-health] India and EU Announce Agreement on Dispute Over Seizures of Drugs in Transit

Michael Palmedo mpalmedo at wcl.american.edu
Fri Jul 29 07:50:05 PDT 2011


http://infojustice.org/archives/4582 

India and EU Announce Agreement on Dispute Over Seizures of Drugs in
Transit

July 29, 2011

India's Ministry of Commerce and Industry has announced an agreement
<http://pib.nic.in/newsite/erelease.aspx?relid=73554>  with the EU to
setting their dispute over the seizure of Indian generic drugs in
transit.  The EU has agreed to adopt guidelines for its customs
officials preventing them from seizing medicines in transit unless they
have evidence that the goods will enter the European market, and would
therefore infringe patent rights in the EU.  In return, "India will not
request the establishment of a dispute settlement panel at the WTO" as
long as the understanding is upheld. 

The dispute was instigated by a series of incidents where generic
medicines being shipped from India to Latin America and Africa through
European ports were siezed by EU customs officers, even though the goods
were not meant to enter into European markets. In response, India
initiated a request for consultations at the World Trade Organization
(the first step in the process of a formal WTO dispute).  India's
complaint alleged that the seizures violated many Articles of both TRIPS
and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).  The seizures
violated TRIPS Articles 41 and 42
<http://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/27-trips_05_e.htm>  because
they "create barriers to legitimate trade, permit abuse of the rights
conferred on the owner of a patent, are unfair and inequitable,
unnecessarily burdensome and complicated and create unwarranted delays."
They violate GATT Articles 2,3,4,5 and 7
<http://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/gatt47_01_e.htm>  because
they "are unreasonable, discriminatory and interfere with, and impose
unnecessary delays and restrictions on, the freedom of transit of
generic drugs lawfully manufactured within, and exported from, India by
the routes most convenient for international transit."

Sources:

*	Government of India Press Release on the Understanding
<http://pib.nic.in/newsite/erelease.aspx?relid=73554> 
*	WTO Page on the Trade Dispute (see link for "Request for
Consultations" )
<http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/dispu_e/cases_e/ds408_e.htm> 
*	Economic Times. "EU Agrees to Stop Confiscation of Generic
Drugs. July 29, 2011.
<http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/healthcare/bi
otech/pharmaceuticals/eu-agrees-to-stop-confiscation-of-indian-generic-d
rugs/articleshow/9403107.cms> 

 

Mike Palmedo

Assistant Director

Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property

American University Washington College of Law

4801 Massachusetts Ave., NW

Washington, DC 20016

T - 202-2274-4442 | F - 202-274-4495

mpalmedo at wcl.american.edu

 




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