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ASEAN nations plan WTO action on Australian prawn ban

AUSTRALIA - ASEAN countries will complain to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) about an Australian ban on prawn imports that they say constitutes an artificial trade barrier.

Both the Australian and the Australian Financial Review newspapers report that Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) members were preparing action against Australia.

Quoting an unnamed member of a Thai delegation that met Australian food quarantine officials Monday, the Financial Review said the case could reach the WTO in Geneva as early as October.

The Australian newspaper reported that Australia could be liable for paying compensation of 500 million dollars (430 million US) a year if it maintained the prawn ban and then lost its case at the WTO.

Source: ABS-CBN