STC Number - 258

Import restrictions on beef and beef products due to Blue Tongue disease

Maintained by: Unspecified
Raised by: European Union
Supported by:
First date raised: October 2007 G/SPS/R/46 para. 13
Dates subsequently raised:
Number of times subsequently raised: 0
Relevant documents: Raised orally
Products covered: 0201 Meat of bovine animals, fresh or chilled.; 0202 Meat of bovine animals, frozen.
Primary subject keyword: Animal Health
Keywords: Animal health; International Standards / Harmonization; Sufficiency of scientific evidence
Status: Not reported
Date reported as resolved:

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

In October 2007, the European Communities stated that certain WTO Members were imposing unjustified import restrictions that went beyond the recommendations of the international standard-setting organizations on the basis of the presence of Blue Tongue disease. The OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code contained clear recommendations regarding blue tongue disease. While WTO Members might review the import conditions for live ruminants or genetic material in light of the recent outbreaks in a limited number of EC member States, there was no scientific basis for imposing additional import restrictions on beef and beef products. According to the OIE, these products did not pose a risk from a blue tongue perspective. The European Communities was not aware of any scientific justification and urged Members not to impose import restrictions.