STC Number - 8

Ban on salmon imports

Maintained by: Australia
Raised by: Canada; United States of America
Supported by:
First date raised: October 1996 G/SPS/R/6, paras. 13-15
Dates subsequently raised: March 1997 (G/SPS/R/7, para. 58)
Number of times subsequently raised: 1
Relevant documents: G/SPS/N/AUS/3, WT/18/1, WT/DS18/AB/R, WT/DS/18/R, WT/DS18/13, WT/DS18/RW, WT/DS21/1, WT/DS21/10
Products covered: 03 Fish and crustaceans, molluscs and other aquatic invertebrates
Primary subject keyword: Animal Health
Keywords: Animal health; Good Offices/Consultations/Dispute Settlement; Risk assessment
Status: Resolved
Solution: Consultations requested on 5/10/1995 (WT/DS18/1) - Canada. Panel established on 10/04/1997. Appellate Body report (WT/DS18/AB/R) and Panel report (WT/DS18/R) adopted on 6/11/1998. Suspension of concessions authorized on 24/12/1998; Request for Arbitration 3/08/1999 (WT/DS18/13). Mutually agreed solution notified on 18/05/2000 (WT/DS18/RW). Consultations requested on 17/11/1995 (WT/DS21/1) - US. Mutually agreed solution notified on 27/10/2000 (WT/DS21/10).
Date reported as resolved: 27/10/2000

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

In October 1996, the United States reported that Australia maintained a ban on North American fresh, chilled or frozen salmon on the grounds that imports might transmit diseases and pathogens to Australian fishery stocks. In 1994, Australia published a draft risk assessment which indicated there was little risk from imported North American salmon. However, Australia did not adjust its measure to reflect the results of that risk assessment, but instead undertook another risk assessment, completed in May 1996, which again failed to find a scientific basis for maintaining the ban. The United States expected that when the final report was published, the ban would be lifted, especially since the salmon in question complied with OIE standards.
Australia indicated that the 1995 draft risk assessment had been revised in response to the large number of comments received. Comments, including from the United Stated and Canada, had again been received on the 1996 draft risk assessment, which would be finalized by the end of 1996. Australia noted that the OIE standard did not meet its appropriate level of protection. In March 1997, Canada and the United States again noted their concern that Australia had decided to maintain its ban on salmon imports. Canada had formally requested the establishment of a panel in the Dispute Settlement Body.