STC Number - 398

Viet Nam's restrictions on fruit due to fruit flies

Maintained by: Viet Nam
Raised by: Chile
Supported by:
First date raised: October 2015 G/SPS/R/81, paras. 3.7-3.8
Dates subsequently raised:
Number of times subsequently raised: 0
Relevant documents: raised orally; RD/SPS/28/Rev.1
Products covered:
Primary subject keyword: Plant Health
Keywords: International Standards / Harmonization; Plant health; Pest or Disease free Regions / Regionalization
Status: Resolved
Solution: Information was received from Chile on the resolution of this STC.
Date reported as resolved: 02/11/2017

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

In October 2015, Chile expressed concerns about Viet Nam's restrictions on its horticultural products due to fruit fly. In August 2015, Viet Nam had informed Chile of its suspension of fruit imports, as Chile was not recognized as free of fruit flies and would not regain its status until Viet Nam was able to carry out a PRA. Chile explained that since 1980, it had operated a fruit fly programme administered by the National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO), through which Chile maintained the National Fruit Fly Detection System (SNDMF). SNDMF ensured that Chile was free from the Mediterranean fruit fly and from other exotic fruit flies of economic significance, based on the IPPC guidelines. Chile had eradicated fruit flies from each of the outbreak areas for three biological life cycles of the insects. Currently, there were two Mediterranean fruit fly outbreaks in Chile, for which a timely corrective action plan had been initiated to achieve eradication. Chile indicated that since it had taken action to eradicate the pest, there had been no exports of fruit from the pest-infected areas and all fruit exports were inspected prior to shipping. As such, Chile considered Viet Nam's measure to be disproportionate and without scientific basis, and urged Viet Nam to comply with the SPS Agreement, in particular with Articles 2.2, 2.3, 3, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6 and 6. Finally, Chile thanked Viet Nam for the bilateral discussions held and expressed its willingness to continue to address the issue in a positive manner.
Viet Nam replied that the temporary suspension of issuing import permits, due to Mediterranean fruit flies, was aimed at protecting Viet Nam's plant health from risks arising from pests. Chile had experienced outbreaks of Mediterranean fruit flies from March to May 2015. In October 2014, Viet Nam's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development had published the list of pests, where fruit flies had been assigned to quarantine pest group 1. This group listed high risk pests that had never been previously introduced into Viet Nam. The Circular had been notified to the WTO (G/SPS/N/VNM/63 and G/SPS/N/VNM/63/Add.1) and Viet Nam further noted that the temporary suspension was aligned with ISPM 11. Although Viet Nam had sent official letters to Chile requesting more information on the outbreaks in order to carry out a PRA and other regulatory quarantine procedures, Viet Nam had not yet received adequate information to start the process. Viet Nam requested that Chile work closely with the competent authorities in Viet Nam to resume the discussions.

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 Chile 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.