STC Number - 74

Restrictions on imports of tropical fresh fruit

Maintained by: Australia
Raised by: Philippines
Supported by: Brazil; European Union; India; Korea, Republic of; Malaysia; Thailand; United States of America
First date raised: March 2000 G/SPS/R/18, para. 67
Dates subsequently raised: June 2000 (G/SPS/R/19, paras. 15-20)
Number of times subsequently raised: 1
Relevant documents: G/SPS/GEN/189, G/SPS/GEN/194, WT/DS270/1, G/SPS/GEN/345, WT/DS270/5/Rev.1, WT/DS271/1, G/SPS/GEN/346
Products covered: 0803 Bananas, including plantains, fresh or dried.; 0804 Dates, figs, pineapples, avocados, guavas, mangoes and mangosteens, fresh or dried.; 0810 Other fruit, fresh.; 080430 - Pineapples
Primary subject keyword: Plant Health
Keywords: Good Offices/Consultations/Dispute Settlement; Plant health; Risk assessment
Status: Not reported
Solution: DSU consultations requested on 18 October 2002 (DS270 and DS271). Panel (DS270) established 29 August 2003. Composition pending
Date reported as resolved:

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

In March 2000, the Philippines reported that its exports, including mangoes, bananas and pineapples, faced phytosanitary restrictions in Australia. Australia explained that in response to a request for access, Australia conducted an open, transparent and consultative process of scientific risk assessment and risk management to avoid the introduction of diseases. Both countries indicated that they were conducting bilateral consultations on the matter.
In June 2000, the Philippines pointed out that major ASEAN exports to Australia faced stringent SPS measures that were not based on a risk assessment. These measures were more restrictive than necessary, and should be reviewed within a reasonable period of time. Malaysia suggested Australia carry out ASEAN-wide risk assessments. Australia offered detailed comments on each of the points raised by the Philippines and noted that a formal response would be provided in due course. In response to Malaysia, Australia explained that pest risk analysis was specific to the trading partners involved and varied according to the exporter's pest status.
The United States urged Australia to expedite its decisions regarding market access for Florida citrus and California table grapes. Australia replied that an import risk analysis had been completed for table grapes, several appeals had been addressed, and the relevant information was about to be released. In response to Brazil's comments regarding its market access applications for mango and papaya, Australia confirmed that these were on the list of matters to be considered by Australian risk analysts. With reference to India's concern about market access for mangoes, Australia reported that Indian authorities had provided helpful information regarding the efficacy of treatment for pests in mangoes, and that Australia was currently evaluating that information. Regarding EC concerns, Australia confirmed that an import risk analysis was being conducted on bulbs. Australia noted that it was necessary to set priorities for risk assessment given scarce financial and human resources.