STC Number - 420

EU non-recognition of regionalization for Avian Influenza

Maintained by: European Union
Raised by: Russian Federation
Supported by:
First date raised: March 2017 G/SPS/R/86, paras. 3.8-3.9
Dates subsequently raised:
Number of times subsequently raised: 0
Relevant documents: Raised orally
Products covered: 0105 Live poultry, that is to say, fowls of the species Gallus domesticus, ducks, geese, turkeys and guinea fowls.

Poultry products
Primary subject keyword: Animal Health
Keywords: Animal health; Avian Influenza; Pest or Disease free Regions / Regionalization; International Standards / Harmonization
Status: Not reported
Date reported as resolved:

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

In March 2017, The Russian Federation expressed its concern with the EU's non-recognition of Russian regionalization for avian influenza since November 2016. The Russian Federation had been affected by an outbreak of avian influenza and had applied regionalization to guarantee trade of poultry products in compliance with both its WTO commitments and OIE standards. While the Russian Federation recognized EU regionalization for avian influenza, the European Union banned imports of poultry products from the entire Russian territory, despite establishing zones of control and monitoring as well as promptly sharing information with the European Union. The Russian Federation voiced its special concern with the European Union's stringent interpretation of certain articles from the OIE Terrestrial Code, especially its requirement to submit virus isolates to the EU reference laboratory. In September 2014, following an avian influenza outbreak in Altai, the European Union had refused to resume exports until the virus isolate was sent to the EU reference laboratory. The Russian Federation noted that it systematically sent virus isolates to its national reference laboratory, which complied with OIE standards. It did not object to submitting the virus isolates to the EU reference laboratory, but considered the mandatory nature of the requirement unnecessarily trade-restrictive. In September 2016, the EU and Russian reference laboratories had signed a memorandum of understanding on the transfer of materials and had since exchanged virus isolates. The Russian Federation hoped that this cooperation would facilitate trade and lead to the EU recognition of Russian regionalization for avian influenza.

The European Union responded that it was in contact with Russia in order to acquire the relevant information necessary to assess Russia's request for regionalization. The evaluation of the Russian Federation's request for recognition of regionalization would be completed as soon as all necessary information had been received in line with OIE guidelines. The European Union welcomed further bilateral discussion on this matter.