The European Union (EU) has asked the World Trade Organization (WTO) to confirm that it is complying with WTO rulings on subsidies to Airbus, in the latest step in a 14-year-old dispute between the US and the EU over alleged subsidies to Airbus and Boeing.

“This is a procedural step in an old ongoing WTO procedure,” European Commission sources said.

“The EU has asked a WTO panel to verify and confirm whether the EU now meets all conditions of compliance with WTO rulings on subsidies to Airbus. This refers to a few issues pointed out in the WTO Appellate Body’s ruling of May 15 as still requiring an EU action,” the sources added.

The WTO ruled at the time the EU had achieved “substantial compliance” with the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body’s recommendations, but had not yet fully complied with all the recommendations and rulings related to the Airbus A380 and A350 programs.

Airbus said at the time: “The WTO has now dismissed in their entirety 94% of Boeing’s original claims. The WTO confirmed that all aspects of the A320 and A330 programs are now in full compliance.”

Airbus said only minor elements remained to be addressed related to the A380 and A350 programs and that it was putting in place changes to respond to those findings. On May 17, the EU notified the WTO of additional steps it had taken to ensure its full compliance and the EU now considers itself to be fully in line with WTO requirements, the Commission sources added.

Airbus and the EU have filed their own case against indirect subsidies they say Boeing receives, but the WTO has not yet ruled on that case.

Helen Massy-Beresford,