STC Number - 443

EU restrictions on poultry meat and poultry meat preparations (Regulation (EU) No. 2018/700)

Maintained by: European Union
Raised by: Brazil
Supported by:
First date raised: July 2018 G/SPS/R/92/Rev.1, paras. 4.11-4.13; See also STC 432
Dates subsequently raised:
Number of times subsequently raised: 0
Relevant documents: Raised orally
Products covered: 0207 Meat and edible offal, of the poultry of heading 01.05, fresh, chilled or frozen.; 16023 - Of poultry of heading 01.05:
Primary subject keyword: Food safety
Keywords: Food safety; Human health; Salmonella; Control, Inspection and Approval Procedures
Status: Not reported
Date reported as resolved:

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

In July 2018, Brazil reported that since the adoption of Regulation (EU) No. 2018/700, shipments from 21 Brazilian establishments, with sanitary certificates issued after 16 May 2018, had been denied access to the European Union. Regulation (EU) No. 2018/700 had justified the delisting of Brazilian establishments based on on-going investigations and on recent actions of the judiciary in Brazil, arguing that the establishments affected by those measures would not comply with relevant EU requirements. This Regulation had then led to the EU suspension of imports from specific establishments due to alleged cases of non-compliance due to the presence of salmonella in poultry meat and poultry meat preparations originating from Brazilian establishments, which was the subject of a separate specific trade concern, STC No. 432, presented by Brazil. In this concern, Brazil addressed the decision to suspend exports from specific establishments, due to an alleged lack of guarantees related to judicial investigations.

Brazil stated that EU restrictions in Regulation (EU) No. 2018/700 targeted specific private companies, leading to 12 exporting establishments being delisted. Between January 2017 and March 2018, two of the delisted establishments had not exported to the European Union. The remaining ten establishments had 8,417 sanitary certificates issued for exports to the European Union, and 41 RASFF notifications throughout the whole period, representing a 0.5% rate of non-conformities in total shipments and a 1.35% rate in inspected shipments. Brazil therefore questioned the scientific principle and the sanitary basis of the EU Regulation (EU) No. 2018/700. Brazil emphasised that it had adopted a strict stance in the prevention and punishment of crime against food safety, adding that through regular inspections the Federal Police and the Ministry of Agriculture had punished individuals and companies not complying with sanitary measures. Finally, Brazil requested the European Union to withdraw Regulation (EU) No. 2018/700.

The European Union drew the Committee's attention to the EU prelisting system based on a systems audit approach that relied on guarantees provided by the competent authorities of the exporting country that the exports met the level of sanitary protection set by the European Union. On that basis, the European Union accepted the list of the exporting establishments proposed by the authorities of the exporting country without prior audits or inspections, and the system was applied to all EU trading partners. The European Union believed that its approach facilitated trade flows by avoiding undue delays, burdensome procedures and unnecessary costs. However, the European Union clarified that when an exporting country failed to deliver on the guarantees provided, the European Union needed to take actions to ensure that the level of protection was maintained. The decision to withdraw the authorisation of certain Brazilian establishments to export specified products of animal origin to the European Union had been taken on the basis of serious concerns, and after careful consideration of recurrent salmonella findings at EU borders, despite pre-export testing and certification; the failure of the competent authorities to take effective corrective measures; and cases of fraud both involving Brazilian authorities and concerning laboratory results supporting certification of meat and meat products exported to the European Union. As a result, the confidence of the European Union on the reliability of the Brazilian official control system had been seriously affected. In this regard, the European Union considered that products from the concerned establishments could constitute a health risk and, therefore, could not continue to be authorised to enter the EU market. The measures had been proportionate and least trade restrictive as instead of banning the imports of the concerned products from Brazil, protective measures had been applied only to those establishments that had been either involved in fraud cases, or had shown serious and repeated salmonella-positive results. In this respect, the European Union believed that the adopted measures were consistent with the provisions of the SPS Agreement. The measures would be reviewed in light of new information and further developments.