back to article Europe must cut duties on US gadgets

The World Trade Organisation has ruled that EU import duties on certain gadgets imported from the US, Japan and Taiwan are illegal. An agreement reached in 1996 removed import tariffs on 72 different products in order to boost trade in technology goods. But the European Union later moved some of these items into a taxable …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    How can it be 'illegal, is the WTO a court?

    Surely it must be against 'agreed rules by WTO parties', where would it be enshrined in law?

    Any lawyers able to comment?

  2. Chris Hatfield
    Jobs Halo

    Will we see cheaper Apple toys?

    So perhaps the pricing will be more in line with US Apple Store pricing, factoring in VAT of course.

    I'm a bit thick, so I buy Apple to avoid the hassle, so yeah, yeah, in b4 'fanboi'.

  3. JaitcH

    They tax Apple Lemon's?

    Apple Leon 4's shouldn't be subject to duty as they don't work (properly).

    P.S. The World Trade Organisation (WTO) is an international forum where American trade advantages are advanced and GM food is propagated throughout the world.

    1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

      Except when it isn't

      "... an international forum where American trade advantages are advanced..."

      Only true if you ignore those times when it slaps the U.S. like it has over cotton, lumber, textiles, steel, ball bearings and chicken to name a few. Now if we could just slough off the protectionist measures on all sides we could get on with the economic recovery in a sustainable way.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Black Helicopters


      It should be called the *American* Trade Organisation.

      They are very keen on "globalisation". They call it that so you don't realise that it means being owned by *America*.

      1. spodula

        In the past maybe

        However, now, its more:

        So you dont realise that you're being owned by "China"

  4. Peter Gathercole Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Oh good.

    We'll probably get it just in time to offset the rise in VAT!

  5. JP19

    Fairs fair

    I'm sure by now, after losing several times at the WTO, the US now allows online betting from outside its borders.


    Well why should anyone give a flying **** what the US thinks if it won't abide by the WTO verdict?

    Their high tech exports can be zero rated when they drop their puritanical banning of online gambling. Until that time, sit and swivel yanky.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Americans ignore the WTO most of the time

    The US ignores the WTO most of the time. They have been deemed to breach regulations repeatedly over the years and have never done anything about it.

    They ignore the rulings when it suits them and attempt to get them enforced when it suits them.

  7. Volker Hett

    Don't expect prices to fall dramatically

    There was a way around most of the taxes, flat screens where brought into the EU in parts and assembled here. This way there was a tax on the panel only which could be priced much cheaper than the complete display.

    Another way around the tax for devices capable of taking videos was to restrict them to less than 30 minutes.

    And so on.

    1. Andy Jones

      Sounds familiar

      That sounds like France and EU rulings!

  8. James 100

    International law = agreements

    @Aimee: Essentially, between countries all "law" consists of agreements, from the Geneva Conventions to WTO rules; in this context, "illegal" always means it violates a current agreement between the countries concerned.

  9. Francis Offord

    Bare faced cheek

    Since when did the bloody Yanks believe in fair trade? It is only fair when it is in their favour and anything NIH (not invented here)is fair game for exclusion. Typical examples were Concord and Hovercraft which were actively campaigned against by believers in "The Land of the Free." A pot bellied pig has less cheek than Americans en masse.

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