STC Number - 423

Brazil's measures on bananas

Maintained by: Brazil
Raised by: Ecuador
Supported by:
First date raised: July 2017 G/SPS/R/87, paras. 4.1-4.2
Dates subsequently raised: November 2017 (G/SPS/R/88, paras. 3.28 - 3.29)
Number of times subsequently raised: 1
Relevant documents: Raised orally
Products covered: 0803 Bananas, including plantains, fresh or dried.

Bananas
Primary subject keyword: Plant Health
Keywords: Risk assessment; Plant health
Status: Not reported
Solution:
Date reported as resolved:

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

In July 2017, Ecuador informed that Brazil had suspended its imports of bananas from Ecuador since 1997, due to alleged phytosanitary reasons. Ecuador reported on the measures taken to resolve the issue, including visits of experts from Brazil to its banana plantations, the signing of agreements, the provision of technical reports and finally a work plan for the export of Ecuadorian bananas to Brazil, stressing the safety of the product. Ecuador affirmed that Brazil's de jure and de facto restrictions were inconsistent with several provisions of the SPS Agreement. Ecuador remained positive on the implementation of the bilateral agreements on this issue and Brazil's 2014 Normative Instruction No. 3.
Brazil responded that the Department of Plant Health of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply (MAPA) had set up a working group to finalize the risk analysis process regarding diseases that affected bananas originating in Ecuador. Brazil also reported that Ecuador had requested a modification of the applicable Normative Instruction No. 3/2014, upon which Brazil had submitted new text to Ecuador. If this text was agreed upon, Brazil would proceed with the corresponding regulatory process.

In November 2017, Ecuador reiterated its concern over the import suspension of Ecuadorian bananas to Brazil. Ecuador urged Brazil to comply with its Normative Instruction No. 3 of 21 March 2014, which laid down sanitary and phytosanitary standards for bananas, based on which Ecuador submitted a working plan to Brazil. Ecuador regretted that the import ban had already lasted for more than 20 years.
Brazil emphasized its bilateral engagement with Ecuador, noting that Ecuador's concern on the ban on shrimps had been resolved. Regarding bananas, Brazil explained that its Ministry of Agriculture was reviewing Ecuador's working plan. Brazil aimed to streamline its standards with its normative instruction on technical standards for banana imports. Brazil also referred to its working meeting with Ecuadorian plant safety authorities and remained positive about swift progress in resolving Ecuador's concern.