Litigating Environmental Protection and Public Health at the WTO: the Brazil-Retreaded Tyres Case

Brief
Date period
13 October 2010

SummaryThe paper discusses the case Brazil - Measures Affecting Imports of Retreaded Tyres that addressed issues of environmental protection and public health pleaded under the exemption clause GATT Article XX. Even though the Appellate Body found the measures to be inconsistent with WTO law, it has been argued that the case is a landmark achievement for environmental policies. Moreover, the case clarified several aspects of the Article XX necessity test and will thus be of critical importance in any future dispute under that provision. Most importantly, the case explained that the meaning of and ruling on "undue burden" needs to be based on the country's capabilities such as degree of development within a country - a critical achievement for developing countries.