China has appealed against a ruling by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) that its import regime for car parts is illegal and contravenes WTO rules, the WTO has said.

The WTO said in a statement that a meeting of its dispute settlement body scheduled for Monday which was due to adopt the ruling had been cancelled because the reports had been appealed.

The WTO's Appellate Body now has up to three months to review the case.

A WTO dispute panel, ruling in three challenges brought by the United States, Canada and the European Union, found in July that China's import tariffs broke international trade rules.

Beijing's WTO accession commitments require it to set a lower tariff on imported car parts than on finished vehicles.

But China had applied the same tariff on parts as it does on vehicles unless the parts met local-content requirements.

China has a maximum tariff of 25 percent for cars, but only 10 percent on parts. However in 2004 and 2005 it imposed a 25 percent duty on imported parts used to assemble complete vehicles in China, in effect treating them as vehicles.