STC Number - 160

Transitional BSE measures

Maintained by: European Union
Raised by: United States of America
Supported by:
First date raised: April 2003 G/SPS/R/29, paras. 97-98
Dates subsequently raised:
Number of times subsequently raised: 0
Relevant documents: G/SPS/N/EEC/192
Products covered: 05 Products of animal origin, not elsewhere specified or included; 0106 Other live animals.
Primary subject keyword: Animal Health
Keywords: Animal health; Food safety; Human health; International Standards / Harmonization; Provisional Measures; Risk assessment; Zoonoses
Status: Not reported
Date reported as resolved:

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

The United States noted that according to Regulation 999/2001, the categorization of countries with regard to risk of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) would be made within six months of submission of the information. Although, the newly notified measure extended the transitional measure until 30 June 2005, the United States was concerned whether this was sufficient time for the European Communities to complete the classifications. There was no scientific justification for applying BSE-related restrictions on products from the United States.
The European Communities explained that the notification concerned an amendment to Article 23 of EC Regulation 999/2001 establishing rules for the eradication, prevention and control of certain TSEs. It included BSE and all TSEs. The amendment extended transitional measures established under Article 23 of this regulation. The regulation provided rules to determine the BSE status of particular countries which conditioned the application of measures covering the import of certain animals and animal products. Until the status determination was made, transitional measures were applied and were to remain in force until 30 June 2003. An assessment of the cases began at the end of 2001. However, modification of the categorization criteria was necessary to obtain a status reflecting actual risk. These criteria were taken from the international code of OIE but it appeared that the OIE was not ready to propose a list of BSE-free countries. Likewise, in the European Communities, scientific risk assessments for all countries were not yet finished, and the EC Scientific Committee had adopted opinions for only around one-third of countries asking for a determination of their status. Therefore, the transitional measures were being prolonged by two years until 1 July 2005. The European Commission would use this period to advance the work in the OIE on determining the BSE and TSE status of countries and complete the scientific risk assessments. The European Communities was examining the substantial documentation submitted by the United States in January 2003, and would report to the United States on the results of the risk assessment as soon as possible.