STC Number - 125

BSE related measures

Maintained by: Argentina
Raised by: Canada
Supported by: United States of America
First date raised: June 2002 G/SPS/R/27, paras. 60-63
Dates subsequently raised: November 2002 (G/SPS/R/28, paras. 46-49)
April 2003 (G/SPS/R/29, paras. 78-80)
Number of times subsequently raised: 2
Relevant documents: G/SPS/N/ARG/65
Products covered: 02 Meat and edible meat offal; 0201 Meat of bovine animals, fresh or chilled.; 0202 Meat of bovine animals, frozen.
Primary subject keyword: Animal Health
Keywords: Animal health; Human health; Risk assessment; Zoonoses
Status: Resolved
Solution: Canada informed the Secretariat that the issue had been resolved with Argentina.
Date reported as resolved: 01/09/2004

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

Canada indicated that Argentina appeared to have copied the EC geographical BSE risk categorization scheme (GBR), and had not followed an international standard or conducted a risk assessment. Canada had been given a Level 2 rating, although it had no BSE. Argentina had not requested any data from Canada. Furthermore, Canada questioned why the scheme had been notified as an emergency measure, and why Argentina had followed the EC measures instead of carrying out its own analysis. The United States shared Canada's concern and encouraged Argentina to consider the BSE risk assessment and data from the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis.
Argentina explained that its measures were based on the available information. If a Member felt the categorization was unjust, it should present the necessary technical information, in which case the review would be given priority. Argentina believed its system was in compliance with the OIE Code. Argentina had to take urgent action to update its BSE measures and any delay would have posed unacceptable risks to Argentina's own BSE status.
In November 2002, Canada reported that it had provided a large body of information to Argentina but had not yet had a response. Canada did not have BSE and did not understand how it could have been given such a rating without any risk assessment having been conducted by Argentina. The United States, which was also free of BSE, shared Canada's concern. The United States encouraged Argentina, as well as other countries, to make use of the information resulting from the BSE risk assessment undertaken by the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis.
Argentina reported that it had reviewed the measure and amended the provisions in Annex II which contained the country ranking based on a risk assessment. These amendments would be undertaken soon. Argentina was completing its analysis of the additional information submitted by Canada, and a reply would soon be provided bilaterally.
In April 2003, Canada reported that the authorities in Argentina and Uruguay had agreed to undertake their own BSE risk assessments. The United States noted that Argentina's resolution allowed for the re-categorisation of the BSE status of the United States. However, a significant amount of scientific evidence had been provided to Argentina which exceeded the OIE criteria for recognition as a BSE-free country. Any restrictions were unjustified and Argentina was requested to lift its restrictions on the importation of sweet breads. Argentina reported that substantive progress had been made on this issue and was confident that further bilateral consultations would result in its resolution.
In September 2004, Canada informed the Secretariat that the issue had been resolved with Argentina.