|作者：||The Chairperson of the Panel|
Communication from the Panel
The following communication, dated 31 March 2021, was received from the Chairperson of the Panel with the request that it be circulated to the Dispute Settlement Body.
Article 12.8 of the Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes (DSU) provides that the period in which a panel shall conduct its examination, from the date that the composition and terms of reference of the panel have been agreed upon until the date the final report is issued to the parties to the dispute, shall, as a general rule, not exceed six months.
Article 12.9 of the DSU further stipulates that, when a panel considers that it cannot issue its report within six months, it shall inform the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) in writing accordingly and indicate the reasons, together with an estimate of the period within which it will issue its report.
The Panel in Colombia – Frozen Fries (DS591) was established by the DSB on 29 June 2020 and composed on 24 August 2020.
Taking account of the Working Procedures and the Timetable that were prepared in consultation with the parties, the Panel does not expect to issue its final report to the parties before the fourth quarter of 2021. This is due to, amongst other reasons, the timing of the complainant's request to commence the organizational phase of the proceedings, the parties' requests for additional time to prepare submissions, as well as certain procedural and logistical challenges presented by the global COVID-19 pandemic.