Denmark has asked the World Trade Organization’s (“WTO”) Dispute Settlement Body to establish a panel to examine the EU’s restrictive measures against the Faroe Islands, a self-governing territory of Denmark, which came into effect on 28 August 2013.
The restrictive measures were adopted as a response to the islands’ implementation of unilateral herring quotas, which more than tripled the numbers of herring and mackerel that could be caught by those fishing in Faroese waters. The measures include the prohibition on imports into the EU of fish or fishery products of Atlanto-Scandian herring or mackerel caught in the waters under the control of the Faroe Islands, and severely restrict the use of EU ports by vessels fishing for or transporting herring and mackerel from Faroese waters.
The request for a WTO panel came after consultations between Denmark, representing the Faroe Islands, and the European Union failed to reach a mutually satisfactory solution on 12 December 2013. It was the first case in which an individual EU Member State, rather than the EU on a Member State’s behalf, requested consultations under the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Understanding with another WTO member.