STC Number - 11

Restriction on levels of copper and cadmium in imported squid

Maintained by: European Union; Spain
Raised by: United States of America
Supported by: Argentina
First date raised: October 1996 G/SPS/R/6, paras. 16-17
Dates subsequently raised: March 1997 (G/SPS/R/7, para. 56)
July 2001 (G/SPS/R/22, para. 127)
Number of times subsequently raised: 2
Relevant documents: G/SPS/GEN/265
Products covered: 03 Fish and crustaceans, molluscs and other aquatic invertebrates; 0307 Molluscs, whether in shell or not, live, fresh, chilled, frozen, dried, salted or in brine; aquatic invertebrates other than crustaceans and molluscs, live, fresh, chilled, frozen, dried, salted or in brine; flours, meals and pellets of aquatic invertebrates other than crustaceans, fit for human consumption.
Primary subject keyword: Food safety
Keywords: Food safety; Human health
Status: Resolved
Solution: In July 2001, the United States reported that it was not experiencing any problems in the area and was continuing to monitor the situation
Date reported as resolved: 01/07/2001

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

In October 1996, the United States noted that the Spanish regulation on levels of copper and other minerals in imported squid was discriminatory since domestic and EC products were specifically exempted. The European Communities replied that the scientific justification for imposing such a measure came from a WHO recommendation on maximum weekly intakes of metal. Harmonization of the permitted levels of various metals across the European Communities was currently being discussed in Brussels. Argentina observed that the problem was not one of harmonization, but of national treatment.
In March 1997, the United States recalled the discriminatory nature of the measure. The European Communities explained that although the norm only referred to third countries, in practice it was recognized by EC member States as well. In addition, the majority of squid imported into Spain came from outside the European Communities. Since Spain had a particularly high consumption of the products in question, this had to be taken into account in addition to WHO recommendations.
In July 2001, the United States reported that it was not experiencing any problems in the area and was continuing to monitor the situation (G/SPS/GEN/265).