On 24th January 2014, Norway filed a notice of appeal regarding the dispute settlement panel’s report in the seal case.
The dispute settlement panel in the WTO concluded that EUs seal regulation violates WTO rules concerning non-discrimination. However, the panel did not conclude that the regulation is more trade restrictive than necessary.
As a result of EUs regulation, Norwegian seal products have not been able to enter the EU market since 2010. Norway believes the dispute can be resolved through the introduction of a labelling scheme for seal products. This will enable the consumers themselves to decide whether or not to purchase the product. Norway also believes the panel has not taken sufficient account of the fact that the seal stocks from which Norway harvest are properly managed and not threaded. The total allowable catch quotas (TACs) are determined based on scientific advice from ICES, NAFO and the Institute of Marine Research in Norway. Furthermore, the Norwegian seal hunt is strictly controlled and regulated in terms of animal welfare requirements.