STC Number - 34

Measures regarding FMD

Maintained by: Japan
Raised by: Argentina; European Union
Supported by:
First date raised: October 1997 G/SPS/R/9/Rev.1, para. 46
Dates subsequently raised: March 2002 (G/SPS/R/26, paras. 15-17)
Number of times subsequently raised: 1
Relevant documents: G/TBT/Notif.97.357, G/SPS/GEN/1269
Products covered: 02 Meat and edible meat offal
Primary subject keyword: Animal Health
Keywords: Animal health; Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT)
Status: Partially resolved
Solution: Partial resolution applies only to the European Union.
Date reported as resolved: 16/10/2013

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

Argentina raised questions on the notified TBT measure, which authorized imports of FMD inactivated vaccine (but only the O type of FMD inactivated virus), and exempted traders from undergoing the usual approval procedures. Three countries were designated as suppliers: Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Argentina sought clarification regarding (a) the current FMD-status of Japan since the decision to import FMD vaccines took effect; (b) the criteria used to designate only three sources of supply; (c) whether Japan considered itself a "zero-risk" country and whether a risk assessment had been carried out in support of this "zero-risk" status; and (d) since Argentina was declared free of FMD with vaccination by the OIE, how Japan viewed its current policy not to import Argentine meat. Japan explained that the notified measure was an amendment to the approval procedures regarding the import of vaccines for emergencies. It was a precautionary measure following the outbreak of FMD in Chinese Taipei in March 1997. Argentina indicated it would provide its questions in writing to Japan.
In March 2002, the European Communities stated that slow administrative procedures had caused unjustified disruptions in the trade of several EC member States with Japan. In spite of the formal recognition by the OIE of EC member States as FMD free, Japanese procedures for recognizing the FMD free status of these countries dragged on. The European Communities noted that they had done everything possible to meet the Japanese requirements and expressed disappointment that Japan would not begin the re-opening process until after the official FMD free declaration by the OIE on 19 September 2001. The EC noted that the re-opening process itself was extremely cumbersome and combined with delays in organizing a Japanese inspection mission, the effect was unnecessary delay in reopening of the market. Furthermore, the European Communities felt that the use of questionnaires was only justified at the time of the outbreak, and that import requirements should be made clear from the outset. The representative of the European Communities requested an indication of when Japan would recognize the EC FMD disease-free status. Japan noted that the risk assessment for FMD had been delayed due to late responses from France, Ireland and the Netherlands.