STC Number - 363

Import restrictions on beef due to BSE

Maintained by: China
Raised by: Brazil
Supported by:
First date raised: October 2013 G/SPS/R/73, paras. 3.14-3.18
Dates subsequently raised:
Number of times subsequently raised: 0
Relevant documents: Raised orally; RD/SPS/28/Rev.1
Products covered:
Primary subject keyword: Animal Health
Status: Resolved
Solution: Information was received from Brazil on the resolution of this STC.
Date reported as resolved: 02/11/2017

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

In October 2013, Brazil raised concerns regarding import restrictions by China on beef, stemming from a notification of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) by Brazil in December 2012. Brazil had provided detailed information on the unique case and the implemented risk mitigation procedures to the OIE and all concerned WTO Members, including China. The case had affected only one native cow which had not entered the food or feed chain, and the OIE had maintained Brazil's classification as a country with negligible risk for BSE. Brazil believed the import restrictions infringed Articles 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, and Annex C of the SPS Agreement, and urged China to withdraw its restrictions.
China noted that the BSE case had occurred in 2010 but that Brazil had failed to notify China in accordance with a bilateral protocol signed by the two countries, which required immediate notification of any animal disease of quarantine significance, including BSE, and subsequent suspension of exports. According to China, there was no accurate pathogenesis of atypical BSE and the risks associated with the outbreak were unclear. China expected further information from Brazil in order to complete a risk analysis.
Brazil noted that it had provided and would continue providing all the information requested by China, especially as regards the bilateral protocol between the two countries.

In November 2017, the Secretariat informed that in September 2017 it had contacted all Members who had raised specific trade concerns (STCs) that had not been discussed in the previous year, to request an update on their status. In furtherance of this request, information was received from Brazil on the resolution of this STC. The Secretariat indicated that the information received had been circulated in document RD/SPS/28 of 31 October 2017, and that the SPS IMS would be updated on this basis, using the date of the present SPS Committee meeting as the date of resolution of the relevant STCs.