Peru has launched the first stage of disputes proceedings at the World Trade Organisation against the European Union, which it accuses of unfairly blocking the export of a type of Peruvian sardine. Lima is upset that the EU will refuse its exporters the right to sell the species sardinops sagax sagax as sardines, despite the fact that – according to Peru, Codex Alimentarius standards allow them to be marketed in such a way. As a result, the Peruvian government is complaining that the EU has erected unjustified trade barriers, breaking WTO treaty commitments, and has called for formal consultations with Brussels over the matter.

By Keith Nuthall, correspondent