STC Number - 407

EU restrictions on exports of pork from the State of Santa Catarina

Maintained by: European Union
Raised by: Brazil
Supported by:
First date raised: March 2016 G/SPS/R/82, paras. 3.11-3.12
Dates subsequently raised: June 2016 (G/SPS/R/83, paras. 4.18-4.19)
Number of times subsequently raised: 1
Relevant documents: Raised orally
Products covered: 0203 Meat of swine, fresh, chilled or frozen.
Primary subject keyword: Food safety
Keywords: Food safety; Human health
Status: Not reported
Solution:
Date reported as resolved:

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

In March 2016, Brazil expressed its concerns on restrictions on exports of pork from the State of Santa Catarina. Brazil had been requesting access to the EU market since 2007 and had implemented a ractopamine-free segregated production (RFP) scheme in order to comply with EU regulations. Brazil also recalled that MRLs for ractopamine were adopted at the 35th Session of the CAC. Brazil questioned the EU's testing methods and results on an audit of the RFP scheme and urged the European Union to lift the restrictions. Brazil highlighted that this issue would continue to be discussed under the Brazil-EU SPS mechanism.
The European Union recalled that its policy on ractopamine required countries which had authorized its use in pig meat production to have a split production system in place to ensure that pig meat exported to the European Union is not derived from animals treated with ractopamine at any stage of the production cycle. Audits carried out in 2011 and 2013 in Santa Catarina had concluded that Brazil could not provide adequate guarantees that meat produced in this state would comply with EU regulations. The European Union remained open for further bilateral discussions based on any new information provided by Brazil.

In June 2016, Brazil reiterated its concerns about the restrictions on pork exports from the State of Santa Catarina. Brazil had been requesting access to the EU market for over a decade, and had implemented a ractopamine-free segregated production (RFP) scheme in order to comply with EU regulations. However, this scheme was not recognized by the European Union. Based on available scientific evidence and the implementation of effective control measures, Brazil had been able to ensure that its pork exports to the European Union were free from ractopamine residues. Brazil urged the European Union to lift its restrictions and to allow Brazilian pork exports under the RFP scheme.
The European Union recalled that the split system for pig production in the State of Santa Catarina had been assessed by the audit services of the European Commission in 2011 and 2013. These audits had concluded that Brazil could not provide the necessary guarantees that pig meat produced in Santa Catarina would comply with EU requirements. The European Union informed the Committee of the bilateral exchanges between the European Commission and Brazilian authorities, including a March 2016 written request for Brazil to provide more information on its residue monitoring plan on porcine animals, particularly on any new developments in its split system. The European Commission was currently awaiting a reply to this letter or any additional information on the monitoring plan. The European Union indicated that it had also informed Brazil that an on-site audit of the implementation of the residue monitoring plan would be necessary to re-assess the split system. The European Union remained open for further bilateral discussions on the basis of any new information provided by Brazil.