STC Number - 151

Restrictions on imports of pork sausages and other pork products

Maintained by: Trinidad and Tobago
Raised by: Argentina
Supported by:
First date raised: November 2002 G/SPS/R/28, paras. 32-34
Dates subsequently raised: April 2003 (G/SPS/R/29 paras. 65-66)
June 2003 (G/SPS/R/30, paras. 45-46)
October 2003 (G/SPS/R/31, paras. 31-32)
Number of times subsequently raised: 3
Relevant documents: Raised orally
Products covered: 0203 Meat of swine, fresh, chilled or frozen.; 1601 Sausages and similar products, of meat, meat offal or blood; food preparations based on these products.; 1602 Other prepared or preserved meat, meat offal or blood.
Primary subject keyword: Animal Health
Keywords: Animal health; International Standards / Harmonization
Status: Not reported
Date reported as resolved:

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

Argentina reported that the health authorities from Trinidad and Tobago had provided two responses regarding import requirements for Argentine pork products, fresh cured or salted. The first response indicated that imports of Argentine pork products were currently banned because of the FMD outbreak that had occurred in 2001, and that imports would not be able to resume until the health status of Argentina changed to that of a country free of FMD without vaccination. The second response stated that imports of pork products were allowed only from those countries that had FMD free status without vaccination for at least three years before the date of export. These requirements were stricter than the OIE Animal Health Code, lacked a scientific basis and were not proportionate to the objectives pursued. Argentina a lifting of the ban and copies of the scientific evidence that justified the measure..
Trinidad and Tobago indicated that the issue of importation of Argentine pork products had been the subject of ongoing bilateral consultations. As a member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Trinidad and Tobago adhered to a regional policy for the importation of meat and meat products according to which, in the event that an exporting country had experienced an FMD outbreak, imports would only be allowed after disease-free status had been achieved without vaccination. The regional decision reflected consensus among member States. These requirements were transparent and applied in an equitable manner to all countries that had experienced FMD outbreaks. Trinidad and Tobago reaffirmed the country's willingness to continue the bilateral process.
In April 2003, Argentina reported that despite the willingness of Trinidad and Tobago to engage in bilateral consultations, no progress had yet been achieved at the technical level. Trinidad and Tobago explained that the OIE Code stated that affected products should not be accepted from vaccinated animals. Re-opening of markets was based on consensus among CARICOM members. Accordingly, Argentina had been advised that the matter should be pursued through the CARICOM Secretariat, which Argentinal had done. CARICOM was committed to finding a mutually agreeable solution and had convened a meeting of the region's chief veterinary officers to discuss the matter on 7-8 April 2003. It was expected that the matter would be fully resolved at the time.
In June 2003, Argentina indicated that its authorities had provided Trinidad and Tobago the information agreed upon after the last Committee meeting. CARICOM was committed to sending a technical mission to Argentina with the aim of accepting Argentine exports. Trinidad and Tobago confirmed that a risk assessment mission was expected to take place within the next two months.
In October 2003, Argentina reported that since the last meeting, its authorities had provided information to Trinidad and Tobago on the foot-and-mouth disease status of Argentina. However, a visit by three veterinarians from the CARICOM to dairy factories and sausage production plants had been cancelled due to a new outbreak of FMD. The representative of Trinidad and Tobago clarified that Argentina had postponed the trip, scheduled for 8-12 September, due to the appearance of an isolated case of FMD. CARICOM had yet to be advised by Argentina of new dates for the visit. Trinidad and Tobago stated that its restriction would not be removed until the risk assessment was completed.