New Zealand's tobacco plans face WTO attack
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New Zealand's tobacco plans face WTO attack

New Zealand is facing an early attack at the WTO over its plans to introduce plain packaging for tobacco products

The Dominican Republic has requested that members of the TRIPs Council discuss the country’s plans and its implications for trade mark owners at its meeting in early March.

Last year a group of WTO members complained about Australia’s plain packaging laws. It now faces three legal challenges at the trade body brought by Ukraine, Honduras and the Dominican Republic.

Last week New Zealand’s associate Health Minister Tariana Turia revealed plans to introduce plain packaging legislation, but said that the legislation would only come into effect once challenges to Australia’s plain packaging legislation before the WTO are decided. She predicted that would take about 18 months from now.

The TRIPs Council will meet on March 5-6. A new chair, Alfredo Suescum of Panama, is expected to be chosen to take over from Ambassador Federico A González of Paraguay

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