STC Number - 444

Panama's restrictions on beef and poultry meat

Maintained by: Panama
Raised by: Brazil
Supported by:
First date raised: July 2018 G/SPS/R/92/Rev.1, paras. 4.14-4.16
Dates subsequently raised:
Number of times subsequently raised: 0
Relevant documents: Raised orally
Products covered: 02 Meat and edible meat offal
Primary subject keyword: Food safety
Keywords: Food safety; Human health; Control, Inspection and Approval Procedures
Status: Not reported
Solution:
Date reported as resolved:

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

In July 2018, Brazil informed the Committee that following a 2016 inspection mission carried out by Panama to audit Brazilian thermo-processed beef and poultry, seven audited establishments had been cleared for export. However, shortly afterwards, Panama had published seven resolutions suspending the previous approvals. Brazil regretted that, despite its requests, Panama had not presented technical justifications for these resolutions. Brazil pointed to a statement made by the Panamanian Authority for Food Safety, explaining that one of the objectives of the suspensions was the promote the strengthening of the national agricultural sector. Brazil argued that the restrictions did not have a scientific basis, and did not take into account human, animal and plant health. Finally, Brazil urged Panama to re-evaluate the decision to suspend the authorizations of Brazilian establishments based on their 2016 approval.

Panama regretted that this item had been included in the agenda, and noted the preliminary nature of its response as it had only recently been informed of this concern. In a bilateral meeting held, Panama had expressed its openness to dialogue. The relevant processes and evaluations were being examined to grant export permits to business, provided the corresponding sanitary measures had been met. After visiting the facilities of the company whose permit had been withdrawn because the appropriate sanitary conditions had not been in place, Panamanian authorities were assessing the renewal of the authorisation.

Brazil thanked Panama for engaging in constructive dialogue and for the reply to its specific trade concern. Brazil recalled that its authorities had requested bilaterally clarifications on this issue and had also requested bilateral meetings with Panama on the margins of the SPS Committee.