STC Number - 43

Prohibition on bone-in beef imports from EC member States

Maintained by: South Africa
Raised by: European Union
Supported by:
First date raised: March 1998 G/SPS/R/10, paras. 32-33
Dates subsequently raised: September 1998 (G/SPS/R/12 and Corr.1, paras. 19-21)
Number of times subsequently raised: 1
Relevant documents: G/SPS/N/ZAF/2, G/SPS/GEN/95, G/SPS/GEN/1269
Products covered: 0201 Meat of bovine animals, fresh or chilled.; 0202 Meat of bovine animals, frozen.
Primary subject keyword: Animal Health
Keywords: Animal health; Food safety; Human health; International Standards / Harmonization; Zoonoses
Status: Resolved
Date reported as resolved: 16/10/2013

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

In March 1998, the European Communities noted that the South African ban on beef imports applied to all EC member States. This was unjustified in light of measures taken at EC and national level in countries were BSE cases had occurred. In addition, South African requirements were not in accordance with OIE standards. South Africa stressed that the European Communities were a major supplier of meat to South Africa, and that South Africa had no interest in having consumers consider EC meat as unsafe. However, South Africa wanted to maintain its BSE-free status, and protect human and animal health. South Africa invited the European Communities to provide written comments.
In September 1998, the European Communities again raised this issue. South Africa replied that written comments from the European Communities had only recently been received. In March and July 1998, South Africa had provided to the European Communities a written explanation of the measure in question. Furthermore, South Africa had reiterated its invitation to the European Communities to submit evidence which would permit a re-evaluation of its decision, possibly on an individual EC member State basis. In accordance with Article 5.7, South Africa would review its measure in the light of additional information. The European Communities recognized that it had yet to provide a written reply to South Africa's request for information, and welcomed the invitation for bilateral discussions of the issue.