STC Number - 456

Korea's import restrictions on poultry due to highly pathogenic avian influenza

Maintained by: Korea, Republic of
Raised by: European Union
Supported by: Russian Federation
First date raised: March 2019 G/SPS/R/94, paras. 3.27-3.29
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.
Primary subject keyword: Animal Health
Keywords: Pest or Disease free Regions / Regionalization; Avian Influenza; Risk assessment; Animal health
Status: Not reported
Date reported as resolved:

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

In March 2019, the European Union raised a concern about country-wide bans maintained by Korea on poultry imports from certain EU member States due to avian influenza. The European Union reported that bans were only lifted following lengthy procedures, even though it notified the disease status of its member States to the OIE and published veterinary reports on the European Commission's website. Although Korean law recognized the principle of regionalization, it did not seem to be implemented, leading to unpredictability and a restrictive effect on trade in poultry products. The European Union highlighted that it had on numerous occasions provided information to Korea on its sanitary controls in place to demonstrate that the disease was under control in its territory and that disease-free areas were likely to remain as such. Furthermore, outbreaks of avian influenza were the result of movements of migratory birds rather than international trade in poultry products. The European Union also argued that Korean restrictions were discriminatory in nature, since Korean authorities applied the regionalization principle to their own market following local outbreaks of avian influenza. The European Union therefore requested Korea to detail the information its authorities required and to allow for a productive regulatory dialogue towards the recognition of regionalization measures.

The Russian Federation expressed support for the EU concern, since it also faced an issue of regionalization with Korea related to avian influenza.

Korea replied that it would continue consultations with EU member States. Korea's procedure was to conduct an import risk assessment to determine whether a country's animal health system (including surveillance and movement restrictions) was adequate. This process would be carried out for EU member States that had requested a regionalization decision from Korea, provided they supplied the necessary evidence to show that they maintained disease-free areas or areas of low disease prevalence.