The Philippine government may sue Australia if it reneges on its promise to produce an import risk assessment (IRA) on Philippine bananas before the year-end, reports Manila Standard Today.
The Philippines Bureau of Plant Industry director Joel Rudinas told Standard Today that his office might again draft another formal complaint against Biosecurity Australia if it failed to deliver the results of the review as promised last year.
“They said they are going to publish the result by the second quarter, so we keep a tight watch on their website. If this again fails, we may now draft a complaint and file the same before the World Trade Organization,” he is quoted as saying.
Canberra made a commitment late last year to finalise the controversial import risk assessment of Philippine banana exports to Australia after more than a decade of delay, the Standard Today said.
Australia’s then Prime Minister John Howard made a self-imposed deadline that Canberra would evaluate and process the IRA until the second quarter of 2008 before opting for an extension until the end of this year, the paper said.
Manila initiated in 2000 the filing of a trade complaint against Canberra before the WTO for its refusal to provide market access for fresh pineapple and banana from the Philippines, according to Standard Today.