Japan has lost its appeal against a World Trade Organisation (WTO) ruling that said its quarantine measures on imported apples from the USA could not be justified on health grounds under the rules of the WTO Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures.

Tokyo claimed that the WTO panel made various “erroneous interpretations” about how Japanese rules broke the agreement, for instance regarding risk assessment, but the WTO appellate body has thrown out all six of Japan’s legal claims.

The US has been complaining about the quarantine restrictions imposed on American apple exports since 1994 to protect against the introduction of fire blight.