The dispute at the World Trade Organisation over the alleged illegal protection of African and Caribbean bananas within the EU has flared up again.

Following a request by the US a special “compliance panel” has been established today (12 July) at the WTO to examine whether the EU has fulfilled obligations to liberalise the European banana market.

US diplomats said in Geneva today: “More than a decade after the dispute began, the EU has not come into compliance with the [WTO ruling’s] recommendations.”

Claiming it had “implemented the ruling”, EU diplomats questioned the legal standing of the US with it being, “neither a producer nor exporter of bananas”.

Panama, Nicaragua and Ecuador support Washington, claiming their banana exports are illegally excluded from EU markets by quotas and tariffs.