The European Union and Norway have notified the World Trade Organization about an interim arrangement that was agreed by both sides on 21 October that became necessary as a contingency measure given the long-standing block on appointments to the WTO’s Appellate Body – a group seven individuals that hear appeals from reports issued by panels in disputes brought by WTO Members and which has the power to rule on trade disputes and to enforce its decisions on the specific parties involved in a dispute.
In the case of the EU and Norway, both sides have said that they will look into securing an effective and binding settlement for any potential trade disputes that might put them at odds with existing WTO laws.
The current interim agreement was filed in the event that the WTO Appellate Body ceases to function. The EU’s priority top priority, however, is to keep the Appellate Body as an effective, functioning tool for settling trade disputes.
The EU came to a similar agreement with Canada on 25 July.