STC Number - 281

Import restrictions on gelatine from bovine hides and head skin due to BSE requirements

Maintained by: Colombia
Raised by: Brazil
Supported by:
First date raised: June 2009 G/SPS/R/55, paras. 27-29
Dates subsequently raised:
Number of times subsequently raised: 0
Relevant documents: Raised orally
Products covered: 05 Products of animal origin, not elsewhere specified or included
Primary subject keyword: Animal Health
Keywords: Animal health; Food safety; Human health; Zoonoses
Status: Resolved
Date reported as resolved: 11/11/2013

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

In June 2009, Brazil referred to Chapter 11.6.1 of the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code according to which there was no scientific evidence for banning imports of gelatine derived from cattle hides and skins, even when derived from the cattle's head or neck. However, item 14.10.1 of the Andean Communities Resolution number 1130 stated that independently from the BSE status of the country, the imported gelatine must be prepared from hides and skins, excluding that derived from heads and necks, which was not in accordance with OIE provisions. Brazil had withdrawn a previous request to include this concern on the agenda of the Committee, following bilateral consultations with Colombia in February 2009 as the Colombian authorities had indicated that the Andean Committee on Animal Health would review and modify this provision. However, Brazil had not received notice of modification of the notification, and requested Colombia and other Andean countries to revise their national requirements without waiting for the Andean legislative process so as to immediately allow bilateral trade of gelatine. Brazil also inquired whether there was a timetable to review the legislative restrictions on gelatine exporters. The representative of Colombia responded that his government was working with Andean Community authorities to resolve the issue raised by Brazil. Although there was no timetable to review the restrictions, Columbia was willing to provide information bilaterally on the actions underway. The representative of the OIE confirmed that gelatine produced from skins and hides was a safe commodity with regard to BSE. At the recent OIE General Assembly, some additional provisions with regard to gelatine manufactured from bones had been agreed, thus extending the range of products which were considered as safe for the production of gelatine.