The Dispute Settlement Body of the WTO has now established a panel to adjudicate the dispute between Ukraine and Australia concerning plain packaging of tobacco products. A summary of the DSB meeting is available here.
The following WTO Members have requested to exercise rights as third parties to the dispute:
Uruguay, New Zealand, Norway, Zimbabwe, Honduras, Dominican Republic, Zambia, Nicaragua, Indonesia, United States, Chinese Taipei, Turkey, Oman, Japan, European Union, Philippines, Ecuador, Korea, India, Brazil, Argentina, Singapore, Guatemala and Canada
The list reflects those lining up for and against plain packaging, as well as some Members keeping their options open. The number of Members involved also reflects the systemic importance of the dispute in terms of trade and health. Issues to consider include the relationship between the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and WTO law, interpretation of TRIPS flexibilities (and their relevance beyond tobacco control) and the general question of to what extent WTO Members have regulatory autonomy in a health context.