STC Number - 98

Restrictions on Egyptian potatoes

Maintained by: European Union
Raised by: Egypt
Supported by:
First date raised: July 2001 G/SPS/R/22, paras. 125-126
Dates subsequently raised:
Number of times subsequently raised: 0
Relevant documents: Raised orally
Products covered: 07 Edible vegetables and certain roots and tubers; 0701 Potatoes, fresh or chilled.
Primary subject keyword: Plant Health
Keywords: International Standards / Harmonization; Plant health
Status: Not reported
Date reported as resolved:

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

Egypt expressed concern that EC measures against imports of Egyptian potatoes, allegedly as protection against the disease Pseudomonas solanacearum, severely restricted imports. Importation of Egyptian potatoes was prohibited unless they originated from agreed pest-free areas, and could be suspended if five interceptions of the bacterium occurred during the 2000-2001 import season. Egypt believed that these measures might not be in accordance with the relevant provision of the SPS Agreement and the GATT 1994, and had prepared questions for the European Communities. The European Communities indicated that the questions would be answered, and clarified that Egyptian potatoes received special treatment in the European Communities. Imports were allowed until the fifth detection of brown rot, which was a disease on the quarantine lists of IPPC and EPPO, while the normal EC standard prohibited imports after one detection. The special treatment had been granted in consideration of Egypt's special efforts to control the disease. The European Communities had received and was studying a document from Egypt containing a contingency plan for brown rot potatoes. Egypt had also requested determination of new free areas for export for the next season, and the request was being considered.