STC Number - 10

Imports of potatoes

Maintained by: Czech Republic
Raised by: European Union
Supported by: Argentina
First date raised: October 1996 G/SPS/R/6, para. 27
Dates subsequently raised: October 1997 (G/SPS/R/9/Rev.1, paras. 51-53)
Number of times subsequently raised: 1
Relevant documents: G/SPS/N/CZE/6, G/SPS/N/CZE/12, G/SPS/GEN/42
Products covered: 0701 Potatoes, fresh or chilled.
Primary subject keyword: Food safety
Keywords: Food safety; Human health; Equivalence
Status: Resolved
Solution: Second active ingredient approved, imports from EC resumed
Date reported as resolved: 01/02/2001

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

In October 1996, the European Communities expressed concern that the Czech Republic had not specified a final date for comments on G/SPS/N/CZE/12. The Czech Republic committed to pursuing the matter bilaterally with the European Communities. In October 1997, the European Communities expressed concern over Czech import requirements for ware potatoes, which it did not believe to be based on scientific principles. Moreover, equivalent methods of sprout treatment were not allowed. The European Communities pointed out that a Codex standard existed for the active ingredient involved. Argentina was concerned that the treatment had to be applied before harvest, making a post-harvest decision to export to the Czech Republic impossible, although alternative treatment methods existed. Furthermore, it was not clear to Argentina whether the registration procedure concerned the entire product formula or only the active ingredient.
The Czech Republic explained that imported plant products could not be circulated domestically if they contained residues of active plant protection ingredients not registered in the Czech Republic. Only one active ingredient had been approved, but registration procedures for a second one were under way. The Czech Republic believed that bilateral channels for resolving the issue, notably within the framework of the European Association Agreement, were far from exhausted.
In February 2001, the Czech Republic reported that the second active agent had been approved since 16 March 1998, and imports from the European Communities had resumed.