Minutes - TRIPS Council Special Session - View details of the intervention/statement

Ambassador Eui-yong Chung (Korea, Republic of)
C.ii.ii Costs
91. The representative of New Zealand expressed support for pleas made by Argentina and Malaysia for more specific information about the cost issue, including the cost of dispute resolution and arbitration. She also asked whether those Members who currently were implementing registration systems at the national level could share their experience with respect to costs or fees necessary under those systems. As the delegation of Australia had very clearly pointed out, there were a range of costs associated with the register that went beyond just administrative, paper or computer costs. They were costs for producers and consumers, which fell into the basket of "opportunity costs", that is cost for not being able to use terms in third markets if those markets might not have gone through the burdensome opposition procedure under the EC proposal. There were also costs for consumers as an effect of reduced competition. Her delegation also noted that, under the EC proposal, which provided that the obligations flowing from the register would be applied to all WTO Members regardless of whether they were participating or not, those costs would also be flowing to consumers in all WTO Members, and not just in those Members with interest in producing wines and spirits. Turning to the intervention made by the representative of Hong Kong, China, she thought that the example given would imply that national systems of registration were already in place at the national level for all WTO Members, which actually was not the case.