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Farner: The Dominican Republic successfully requests the establishment of a WTO panel to examine the WTO compatibility of Australia's Plain Packaging Laws

Geneva, 25 April 2014 - Today the Dominican Republic successfully requested
the Dispute Settlement Body ("DSB") of the World Trade Organization ("WTO")
to establish a WTO panel to examine whether Australia's plain packaging
measures for tobacco products are compliant with the WTO rules and treaty
obligations. A panel with respect to the same measure was also established
upon the request of Cuba at today's DSB meeting.

This brings to five the total number of WTO complaints against Australia's
plain packaging measures, as WTO panels have already been established in the
past for Ukraine, Honduras, and Indonesia.

By circumscribing intellectual property, namely trademarks and geographic
indications, Australia's plain packaging measures will undermine the
Dominican Republic's tobacco industry, specifically, its premium cigar

Dr. Katrina Naut, the Dominican Republic's Director General of Foreign Trade
and Administration of Trade Agreements, Directorate of Foreign Trade, said,
"My country fully shares Australia's health objectives. However, its plain
packaging measure is failing to have the desired health effects of reducing
smoking prevalence and remains detrimental to our premium tobacco industry.
By banning all design elements from tobacco packaging, plain packaging
precludes our producers from differentiating their premium products from
competitors in the marketplace."

There are around 5,500 tobacco producers in the Dominican Republic, employing
approximately 55,000 agricultural workers plus 63,000 in tobacco
manufacturing. Overall, the industry supports approximately 350,000 jobs in
the Dominican Republic and its export amount to approximately US $ 600
million for 2013.

Luis Manuel Piantini, Ambassador of the Dominican Republic to the WTO,
explains: "We will do everything we can in order to protect the jobs, export
revenues, and intellectual property rights that are invaluable to our
developing economy.
Plain packaging is not only an ineffective health policy, but also one that is
detrimental to fair competition in the marketplace."


Media contacts:

|Farner Consulting Myriam Delouvrier |
| Consultant |
| Tel: 00 41 21 517 67 15 |
|Frédéric Jacquemoud Cell: 00 41 76 787 61 35 |
|Director Email :delouvrier@farner.ch |
|Tel: 00 41 21 517 67 67 |
|Cell: 00 41 79 826 48 18 |
|Email :jacquemoud@farner.ch |
Press release (PDF)


This announcement is distributed by NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions on behalf of NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions clients.
The issuer of this announcement warrants that they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of the information contained therein.
Source: Farner via Globenewswire


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