The battle over Australia's law compelling the standardized packaging of tobacco is set to come to a head after two years of procedural wrangling.
The case will now be settled in court by the World Trade Organization (WTO) after five countries brought the action against Australia arguing the law was a restriction on intellectual property rights.
Introduced in 2012, the law is the first of its kind and has been widely criticized as ineffective and a boon to black marketers.
"Its plain packaging measure is failing to have the desired health effects of reducing smoking prevalence and remains detrimental to our premium tobacco industry," said Katrina Naut, the Dominican Republic's director-general of foreign trade.
The agreement reached between Australia and the five complainants ensures the case will commence within weeks. Director-general of the WTO Roberto Azevedo will appoint three panelists by the 5 May to judge the dispute.
Among the host of complaints against the prohibition was that the removal of all branding from tobacco products hampers the ability of tobacco producers to differentiate their premium products from other competitors.