GENEVA - Honduras and Ukraine have filed complaints with the World Trade Organization (WTO) over Australia€™s plain packaging laws for tobacco, Reuters reports. The Dominican Republic is said to be getting ready to challenge the laws as well.
The challenges will be heard in WTO committee hearings this week. Despite the fact that neither Honduras nor Ukraine have a sizeable presence in Australia, the countries claim the Australian law hampers trade.
The suits are closely watched by other countries, with some diplomats viewing the cases as a test. Philip Morris, Imperial Tobacco and British American Tobacco have all filed High Court challenges against the Australian regulations, alleging the restrictive packaging laws violate trademark rights.
The Australian ban will go into effect December 1. Other countries contemplating a similar law €" such as Belgium, Canada, France, Iceland and New Zealand €" are closely following the case to see how the court rules.