STC Number - 116

FMD restrictions

Maintained by: Colombia
Raised by: Argentina
Supported by:
First date raised: March 2002 G/SPS/R/26, paras. 18-19
Dates subsequently raised: June 2002 (G/SPS/R/27, paras. 44-45)
November 2002 (G/SPS/R/28, paras. 56-58)
April 2003 (G/SPS/R/29, paras. 74-75)
June 2003 (G/SPS/R/30, para. 44)
October 2003 (G/SPS/R/31, para. 37)
Number of times subsequently raised: 5
Relevant documents: Raised orally
Products covered: 0201 Meat of bovine animals, fresh or chilled.; 0202 Meat of bovine animals, frozen.
Primary subject keyword: Animal Health
Keywords: Animal health
Status: Resolved
Solution: Restrictions lifted on bovine meat from Argentina
Date reported as resolved: 01/10/2003

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

Argentina reported that Colombia had restricted imports of certain products from Argentina on 26 September 2001, after the FMD outbreaks in Argentina. Colombia had agreed to accept Argentine products for which risk mitigation techniques could be applied according to the OIE code, and on 17 October 2001 had published new measures specifying those processed products which could be imported. An inspection visit by the Colombian sanitary services in late October 2001 complemented the information provided by the Argentine services. However, Argentina was unable to export the products in question due to continued information requests from Colombia. Colombia noted that it had replied to comments and questions from Argentina in November 2001 and March 2002. Argentina did not have establishments authorised by the Colombian Livestock Institute (ICA) to export risk products to Colombia. Colombia was considering the process and production methods at Argentine establishments to inactivate the virus in risk materials, and if satisfactory, Argentine establishments would receive the necessary ICA authorization.
In June 2002, Argentina indicated that its exports continued to be restricted. Colombia recalled that no plants in Argentina were currently certified to export to Colombia. However, Colombia had identified 10 plants in Argentina for which it needed to update information, and another 38 plants which it proposed to visit for the first time. Only 21 of these establishments had provided the information needed for the Colombian Agricultural Institute to undertake certification visits.
In November 2002, Argentina noted that Colombia continued to prohibit Argentine meat despite the fact that there had been no new outbreaks in Argentina for nine months. Colombia still had not carried out inspections of 21 packing plants which Colombia claimed was necessary before trade in beef meat could resume. Colombia stated that Argentina had blocked imports of fresh flowers from Colombia, and requested Argentina not to link these two issues. Argentina indicated that there was no linkage to Colombian flowers, and asked Colombia to provide information as to whether it would carry out the veterinary inspections in Argentina so that beef meat exports could resume.
In April 2003, Argentina noted that it had not received a reply from Colombia on the completed questionnaire concerning chilled products. No in-situ inspections had taken place that would lead to a lifting of these restrictions nor had Argentina received any requests for further information. Noting Colombia's concern over cut flowers, Argentina stated that it did not maintain any restriction on the import of flowers from Colombia. Colombia stated that it enjoyed a favourable FMD situation but allowed the importation of low risk products. High risk products, however, were banned from Argentina and this was notified to the WTO. Establishments of origin had to be authorized by the Colombian sanitary service and a programme of visits to Argentina had been planned. Information from Argentine authorities was required with regard to the serological and epidemiological assessment of FMD, vaccination coverage, and the dates on which the status of disease freedom both with or without vaccination were achieved. Colombia considered the Argentine decision to suspend the import of cut flowers in November 2001, without a WTO notification, to be unjustified.
In June 2003, Argentina reported that progress had been made and that inspections of Argentine meat plants by Colombian officials were being planned. Colombia noted that once the necessary information was provided by Argentina, Colombian authorities would carry out the necessary missions. The good progress in the case of bovine exports from Argentina to Colombia was similar to the progress made on the issue of flower exports from Colombia to Argentina.
In October 2003, Argentina reported that the issue had been resolved at the end of September 2003, and that Colombia had eliminated its restrictions. Colombia confirmed that the issue had been resolved, and that exports of flowers from Colombia to Argentina had also been discussed during the meeting.