STC Number - 465

Thailand's approval procedures for imports of pork and other animal products

Maintained by: Thailand
Raised by: Brazil; European Union
Supported by:
First date raised: November 2019 G/SPS/R/97, paras. 3.2-3.5
Dates subsequently raised:
Number of times subsequently raised: 0
Relevant documents: G/SPS/N/THA/243, G/SPS/N/THA/244
Products covered: 01 Live animals; 02 Meat and edible meat offal; 16 Preparations of meat, of fish or of crustaceans, molluscs or other aquatic invertebrates

Pork and live cattle, and genetic material
Primary subject keyword: Other concerns
Keywords: Control, Inspection and Approval Procedures; Transparency; Certification, control and inspection; Undue delays; Risk assessment
Status: Not reported
Date reported as resolved:

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

In November 2019, Brazil raised a concern regarding Thailand's approval procedures for imports of pork and other animal products. Brazil had tried to access the Thai markets for pork and live cattle and genetic material since 2016. Brazil explained that usually, exporting countries had to provide answers to a questionnaire to initiate the risk analysis procedures, but Brazil had not received the questions because, according to Thai authorities, the questionnaires were under review. Brazil acknowledged the right of importing countries to update their questionnaires but stated that this procedure had to be undertaken and completed without undue delay.

The European Union expressed its concern that the approval procedures for imports of pork in Thailand were performed with unjustified delays, leading to 11 EU member States with pending applications, some since 2011. The European Union explained that Thailand's approval procedures had been repeatedly revised and re-organized over the past years and that the agreed timelines for intermediate steps in the were not respected, which delayed the final approval. Each application was analysed separately. In the EU view, the overall approval process could be accelerated if the applications were bundled, because all the EU member States produced pork under fully harmonized rules of animal health and process hygiene. The European Union urged Thailand to comply with its obligations under the SPS Agreement, apply transparent and swift approval procedures, and to grant market access for EU pork.

Thailand referred to notification G/SPS/N/THA/243 and G/SPS/N/THA/244, whereby it circulated the drafts of the approval procedures for import of live animals and animal products and the procedure for import of animal feed derived from animals. Thailand mentioned that the procedures entered into force on 5 November 2018 and 28 January 2019, after the drafts were circulated to the Members, a 60-day comment period was allowed, and response to the comments was given [and noted that its market access procedure was based on a risk analysis, as required].

Thailand explained that it received many requests for importation of livestock products from several countries and that there were currently at least 23 countries and more than 20 livestock products undergoing market access processes. Thailand indicated that livestock products such as pork and swine offal, beef and bovine offal, breeding swine and their genetics, breeding bovines and their genetics, day-old-chick and hatching eggs, and processed animal proteins derived from swine, bovines and poultry, as well as blood meals and plasma powder from several countries, including EU member States, had been approved for importation. Thailand also reported that it had completed the inspection of beef establishments in Brazil and had provided the questionnaire for the evaluation of importation of day-old chicks and hatching eggs and was waiting for the requested information.