Indonesia has won the right to seek a ruling by the World Trade Organisation on Australia's plain tobacco packaging rules.
Trade sources say the WTO disputes settlement body has agreed to set up an independent panel of trade and legal experts in order to assess whether Australia is breaching the rules of global commerce.
Australia has faced a number of challenges to legislation passed in 2011 which has been in force since December 2012.
New Zealand has reserved its third-party rights to participate in five cases.
Under the rules, all tobacco products have to be sold in drab green boxes featuring the same typeface and graphic images of diseased smokers.