STC Number - 141

Pest risk assessments for imports of plant origin

Maintained by: Brazil
Raised by: Canada
Supported by: Australia; European Union; New Zealand; Peru; United States of America
First date raised: November 2002 G/SPS/R/28 , paras. 77-79
Dates subsequently raised:
Number of times subsequently raised: 0
Relevant documents: G/SPS/N/BRA/65; RD/SPS/28/Rev.1
Products covered:
Primary subject keyword: Plant Health
Keywords: Plant health; Risk assessment
Status: Resolved
Solution: Information was received from Canada on the resolution of this STC.
Date reported as resolved: 02/11/2017

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

Canada referred to Brazil's legislative requirement for pest risk assessments for all vegetable products imported into Brazil, published on 28 March 2002. While Canada did not challenge the right of Brazil to conduct pest risk analysis for imported commodities, they considered the measure as unduly restrictive of trade, in particular given that imports would be suspended on 27 November 2002, pending completion of the pest risk assessments. Canada had exported a number of products covered by this measure for many years without any particular concern, and requested Brazil to allow existing trade from well known sources to continue while the pest risk assessments were being completed. In this regard, Canada was prepared to provide the information required to facilitate the early completion of any risk assessments concerning products from Canada.
The United States did not believe that it was necessary or justifiable to ban or temporarily halt the importation of products while PRAs were being conducted unless there was a specific pest risk problem that would required such drastic action. Australia, the European Communities, New Zealand and Peru shared the concerns expressed by Canada and the United States and requested Brazil to withdraw the application of the measure.
Brazil stated that one key concern was that many PRAs were open-ended and the studies never came to completion. Brazil was reassessing the matter and considering alternatives to the PRAs, such as the possibility of extending the time-frame for implementation of the measure in the case of ongoing studies, including cases where documents had already been forwarded to Brazil. Brazil requested trading partners to identify their concerns in writing, so that responses could be provided by the competent authorities.

In November 2017, the Secretariat informed that in September 2017 it had contacted all Members who had raised specific trade concerns (STCs) that had not been discussed in the previous year, to request an update on their status. In furtherance of this request, information was received from Canada on the resolution of this STC. The Secretariat indicated that the information received had been circulated in document RD/SPS/28 of 31 October 2017, and that the SPS IMS would be updated on this basis, using the date of the November 2017 SPS Committee meeting as the date of resolution of the relevant STCs.