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EU & India resolve generic drug seizures dispute; reports

By Nick Taylor , 13-Dec-2010

The EU and India have resolved a dispute about the seizure of generic medicines passing through Europe on route to Africa and Latin America, according to reports.

In May India and Brazil followed up their 2009 World Trade Organization (WTO) case by initiating a trade dispute against the European Union (EU). The dispute between India and the EU has now been resolved, reports Reuters, and this will lead to suspension of WTO proceedings.

By amending customs codes the EU plans to stop the seizure of generic drugs passing through European ports on route to Latin America and Africa. In the past shipments of drugs, legal in the exporting and importing countries, were stopped because they were not recognised in the EU.

"Transports in transit will no longer be checked, except for counterfeiting", Karel De Gucht, trade chief at the EU, told Reuters. Anand Sharma, Indian commerce and industry minister, also said the dispute is over.

Legal proceedings between Brazil and the EU are ongoing.

Free Trade Agreement

An EU-India summit in Brussels, Belgium has strengthened the strategic partnership between the regions and furthered free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations, said Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council.

This free trade zone will bring together markets of one and a half billion people. It will be a key contribution to the global recovery. Most importantly, it will be crucial for sustainable growth, jobs and innovation both in India and in Europe”, said Van Rompuy.

An outline of the FTA has been agreed on, said Van Rompuy, and a target of spring 2011 has been set for conclusion of negotiations. This would mean the FTA could be presented when India and the EU meet next year in Delhi.

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