STC Number - 18

Certification requirements for pet food

Maintained by: European Union; France
Raised by: United States of America
Supported by: Chile
First date raised: March 1997 G/SPS/R/7, paras. 7-8
Dates subsequently raised: July 1997 (G/SPS/R/8, paras. 20-21)
July 2001 (G/SPS/R/22, para. 127)
Number of times subsequently raised: 2
Relevant documents: G/SPS/GEN/18, G/SPS/GEN/265
Products covered: 0511 Animal products not elsewhere specified or included; dead animals of Chapter 1 or 3, unfit for human consumption.
Primary subject keyword: Animal Health
Keywords: Animal health; Control, Inspection and Approval Procedures; Human health; Zoonoses
Status: Not reported
Date reported as resolved:

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

In March 1997, the United States expressed concern with regard to French certification requirements adopted under national legislation which blocked US exports of pet food and had not been notified to WTO. Bilateral exchanges with France had produced no progress. The European Communities regretted that their internal procedure for notification of national measures had delayed notification of the French measure in question. The measure had been based on discussions and recommendations at the EC Commission level, recommendations by the WHO, as well as parallel scientific discussions in the United Kingdom and France.
In July 1997, the United States again raised concerns with the French measure for protection from TSEs. The measure did not account for the fact that the United States was BSE-free, and did not seem to have a scientific basis. Furthermore, the measure applied to species not affected by TSEs, such as poultry and fish. Chile expressed concern regarding the effect the regulation might have on trade in fishmeal. The European Communities pointed out a few inaccuracies in the US document, and noted that the provisions banning the use of frozen animals or animal cadavers were not necessarily addressing health issues, but image and quality, and were therefore not strictly relevant under the SPS Agreement. Discussion of the matter continued within the European Communities.
In July 2001, the United States reported that its exports continued to be hampered by French certification requirements, which differed from those applied by other EC member States (G/SPS/GEN/265). The United States questioned the scientific foundation for excluding animal meat or bone meal from pet food produced in countries where BSE does not occur.